With Canada Day coming up this Saturday, I thought it was appropriate to write a cheesy post about what being a Canadian means to me. Being Canadian is…
Having endless opportunity
Opportunity to travel, to get an education, to meet new people, to learn about other cultures, to go home to a safe place at night, to live away from war, to do with your life whatever you want. I get to choose. I get to live my life on my terms.
Having a huge and beautiful country to explore
Want to travel but don’t have a passport? No problem! There are nearly 10 million square kilometres of this country to explore. And it’s all so beautiful! From the rocky Atlantic coast, to the flat prairie, to the majestic mountains out west, to the Boreal forest up north. I’d like to be able to say one day that I’ve visited all of Canada’s provinces and territories. I would also like to take an epic road trip across the country. There are so many adventures to be had out there!
Having a culturally rich and diverse country
I’ve heard the saying, “Canada is a mosaic, not a melting pot,” get thrown around a lot. And I think that holds pretty true. There are so many cultures living in this country due to immigration. But you can also find cultural differences around Canada that’s based primarily on geography. For example, check out this post by Shifting Roots that looks at different foods from each province.
Being annoyingly proud of our celebrities and inventions
Ryan Reynolds? Drake? Maple syrup? Basketball? Insulin? Yeah, that was Canada. You’re welcome.
Feeling a little awkward about being the only person in your hostel that knows only one language
This might be geared a little more towards western Canada. When the S.O. and I went to Europe a few summers ago, we met all these people who knew a minimum of two languages. Some knew five or six!! One German we met explained that the Australians, the Americans, and the Canadians only know English, and everyone else in the world needs to know at least two languages. It made me feel like not the greatest world citizen. Of course, what have I done to remedy that? I’m learning French, Spanish and Russian on Duolingo, but I haven’t visited the app in a few months… So nothing. I’m doing nothing about it.
Being a role model around the world
Despite the whole only-speaking-English thing (in the west, at least), Canada is slowly becoming a quiet world leader. I feel like this country leads by example. Most recently, Canada has proved itself a role model in the refugee crisis, and has shown that it is possible to not give in to right-wing extremism (I just read an interesting article about it here).
Knowing that not everything is perfect right now, and being willing to continue to learn and grow
Canada is not a perfect country by any means. There are parts of our history that are awful. There are parts of today’s society that are still awful. Being Canadian means knowing these problems exist, and being ready to make the change for the better.
Owning some goofy stereotypes
Does anybody else like messing with people a little bit before explaining that some of the stereotypes about Canada are ridiculous? Like, “yes, I ride my pet polar bear to school every day!” Other Canadian stereotypes that I’m honoured to uphold are Canadians’ love of beer, hockey, poutine, and saying ‘eh’.
Being some of the nicest people in the world
We do say sorry for everything. Whatever, it’s fine.
Being proud of wearing that red and white maple leaf all around the world
I’m extremely proud to be Canadian! And I feel incredibly lucky to have been born in this amazing country.
Happy Canada Day, everyone! Let me know how you plan to celebrate 150 years of confederation!