Well it’s Friday on a long weekend that will include celebrations from coast to coast. When I was wondering about what to write about today, I figured it would be a good time to reflect on what being Canadian means to me. You know things that we take for granted because we live here.
I have had the opportunity to travel quite extensively for work and during these travels I have marveled at how lucky we are in Canada. I can’t think of another place that I have visited, that would improve on where I live now. I have talked to people from other countries about this and they say that I feel that way because Canada is where I live and I am used to it. They say they feel the same way about their countries.
Hummmm. I know that we are not unique in the fact that our population is an integration of peoples from all over the world, but I would suggest to you that this integration works better in Canada than any other place I have experienced. Canadians respect that fact that there are many different religions and customs and we make provisions to deal with these things. We’re not perfect by any stretch, but we are improving and we are already a leader.
Canada is a country of democratic and social governments with a mix of social programs and free enterprise. We have free medical care, we have a world class education system, we don’t get involved in other people’s business (Globally speaking), we participate in a global economy, we are respected world wide as peace keepers.
When visiting other countries, people ask me things like what is Canadian food like? Why are there no Canadian restaurants? These are the kinds of questions that we never really ask ourselves. When I go to the phone book in Ottawa and look up restaurants in the yellow pages, the restaurants are listed by nationality. I have looked in phone books in other places that I have visited and we are unique in this respect.
We celebrate our diverse population through food, drink, dance, language and customs. This diversity is what makes Canada what it is. There is no single custom or food that is uniquely Canadian (Except perhaps maple sugar). Canadians don’t really need things to set themselves apart from the rest of the world because we are a global nation.
I believe that Canada is a shining example of what the rest of the world should be.