Monday, March 1, 2010

On Being a Canadian

Yesterday's Olympic hockey win has caused such an ourpouring of nationalism here. This is not like us. We are generally quiet on the subject of our national identity, not because we don't like who we are, but often because we're a little unsure of who we are. Canadians are just Canadians and that's a hard thing to define. To see that uncertainty set aside as we celebrated the winning shot was extrodinary.

I wonder what happens now... now that we've had a taste of this collective pride? Will we go on trying to explain ourselves to the world at large? Will this feeling embed itself in our culture? Is this the start of a golden age as Canadians or a brief taste of it since our arts and cuture funding for the next who-knows-how-long has been sacked to help fund the 17 very pricey days of the winter games?

Watching the absolutely ridiculous closing ceremony number with the giant beavers made me laugh until I cried. As someone said... it was like a tourist souvenir shop come to life. So in the spirit of celebrating the Canadian sterotype here are some things that define me as a Canadian...

  • The French side of my family has been here since 1671
  • My Dad drove a Zamboni
  • I have two uncles who were Mounties
  • I donate monthly to the David Suzuki Foundation and to Greenpeace
  • I dated a goalie in highschool
  • I have fond memories of the old CBC logo, NFB film shorts and Hinterland Who's Who
  • I couldn't decide who I wanted to be more like when I was 12... Anne Shirley or Emily Carr
  • My parents were settlement managers of a small Inuit community in northern Manitoba before I came along
  • I believe in socialised health care and would happily pay more taxes for it
  • I was very upset that they changed the Hockey Night in Canada theme song and I don't even watch hockey that often
  • I play 'spot the Canadian actor' when watching movies... somehow I don't think Americans bother with this pastime
  • I have more t-shirts from Roots than The Gap
  • Although I live in a temperate climate here on the west coast, one of the qualities I most admire in people is the ability to thrive in harsh conditions (weather or otherwise)
  • Butter tarts? Nanaimo bars? Yes please!
  • I'm listening to Neil Young while typing this
  • Canadian Tire money is an important second currency to me
  • I think of distance in kilometers but I don't know my own height in centimeters
  • I said 'Eh' within the first two sentances I uttered aloud this morning

Some of my favourite corners of this place:

Porteau Cove, BC

Relaxing at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC

Meditation Hut at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC

Buntzen Lake, BC

A totem in Victoria, BC



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