Yesterday, we celebrated the 146th anniversary of the birth of our nation, Canada. I was proud to celebrate Canada Day, as I have for almost every year of my life, back in my hometown Sarnia. As I weaved through the mass of white and red, saw Canadian flags on cheeks, ankles, t-shirts, and hats, and listened to “Oh Canada” sung, played by a marching band, and a Calypso band, I pondered the question, what do I like most about being Canadian?
There are so many answers I could give. I tired to narrow it down to my top five and this is what I finally settled on.
1. I am proud of the fact that our American neighbours hide behind our maple leaf when travelling abroad because it stands for peacekeeping, politeness, friendliness, and acceptance. The world knows us as “nice” and I am okay with that.
2. I love the fact that it is not unusual to see flip flops or shorts during our winter months. Laying out in the sun, sitting out on the patio, running in shorts and a t-shirts begins here long before the temperature really warrants it. We are hearty and strong. We embrace the seasons and make each worthy of celebration. We are not afraid of the cold. We welcome the heat of the summer. I like that about us.
3. I like being known for hockey and beer and “eh”. Cliché yes, but not a bad rap if you ask me because I like to hang out with people who like hockey and beer and say “eh” once in a while.
4. I like the fact that no matter where in the world the need is, Canadians step up to help. We Canadians are the first ones to raise our hands. We are givers, even if we have little to give.
5. Last, but not least, I like the fact that on Canada Day you can hear our national anthem played by a marching band and Calypso band, sung in French and with a Filipino accent, and eat Italian, Chinese, Polish, Greek, and Indian food and feel truly Canadian.
We are only 146 years old, young by the world standards. But, our traditions run deep and we have grown into a well-respected, and well-liked young adult. I cannot say how proud I am to be part of this group, the true north strong and free.