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My home and native land

February 5, 2010

Hey, has anyone heard that the Olympics are coming to Vancouver??

(Side note: Did you know the Olympics are capitalized?)

All this attention on Canada has had me thinking about being Canadian and how absolutely awesome it is to be one and to live here. One branch of my family has been here for over 200 years! I feel proud to have that much Canadian history in my background.

Oh, we have our problems as a country and as a nation; everyone HATES Ontario, 49% of Quebecois would like to separate from us altogether, and Newfoundlanders don’t even consider themselves to be Canadian; but having just had a discussion with one of our volunteers at work about the conflict in Israel, I realize how blessed I am to have grown up in a peaceful nation.

But we haven’t always been peaceful. Oh no. Canadians have known to be bad-asses in our time. We too have had our conflicts/quests for unity, and how we handled them is, I think, a good representation of how we came to be the people we are. Here are a few of my favourite examples:

War of 1812 – Hollywood thought they’d cornered the market on destroying the White House in blockbuster disaster films, but I’ll have you know we did it first! Granted, we were part of Britain way back then, but our efforts to keep our cultural identify distinct from the US were clearly evident. We’re still trying to keep ourselves separate. Who won is debated by many, but it’s clear to me that our side benefited the most: we got chocolate out of it.

Rebellion of 1837 – this is a good example of how we try to be tough, but really, we’re not built for conflict. This lasted, what? A day? And it came to a head at a bar!? Way to plan a Canadian insurgence, eh?

Confederation – unlike the US who had to fight their way to freedom, all we did was ask (well, it was slightly more than that, but the point is that we peacefully became a nation), and I’m thrilled Queen Victoria said sure, why not? And it was all planned by John A. Macdonald, our first prime minister who really liked his drink. In true Canadian fashion, as we are very fond of our beer, I recall hearing that there was a pub in the basement of our parliament buildings. Sweet.

And so, in conclusion, we are a unique group of people who handle things with a certain panache, that no other culture on earth can copy.We should consider ourselves lucky and never, ever take our culture for granted!

I’ll leave you with this list of fun tidbits, to give you a bit of a laugh on this grey friday afternoon:

YOU KNOW YOU’RE CANADIAN WHEN:

You stand in “line-ups” at the movie, not lines.

You’re not offended by the term “Homo Milk”.

You understand the sentence, “Could you please pass me a serviette, I just spilled my poutine.”

You eat chocolate bars instead of candy bars.

You drink pop, not soda.

You know what it means to be on pogey.

You know that a mickey and 2-4’s mean “Party at the camp, eh!”

You can drink legally while still a teen.

You talk about the weather with strangers and friends alike.

You don’t know or care about the fuss with Cuba, it’s just a cheap place to travel with good cigars and no Americans.

When there is a social problem, you turn to your government to fix it instead of telling them to stay out of it.

You’re not sure if the leader of your nation has EVER had sex and you really don’t want to know if he has!

You get milk in bags as well as cartons and plastic jugs.

Pike is a type of fish, not some part of a highway.

You drive on a highway, not a freeway.

You know what a Robertson screwdriver is.

You have Canadian Tire money in your kitchen drawers.

You know that Thrills are something to chew and “taste like soap.”

You know that Mounties “don’t always look like that.”

You dismiss all beers under 6% as “for children and the elderly.”

You know that the Friendly Giant isn’t a vegetable product line.

You know that Casey and Finnegan are not a Celtic musical group.

You participated in “Participaction.”

You have an Inuit carving by your bedside with the rationale, “What’s good enough protection for the Prime Minister is good enough for me.”

You wonder why there isn’t a 5 dollar coin yet.

Unlike any international assasin/terrorist/spy in the world, you don’t possess a Canadian passport.

You use a red pen on your non-Canadian textbooks and fill in the missing ‘u’s from labor, honor, and color.

You know the French equivalents of “free”, “prize”, and “no sugar added”, thanks to your extensive education in bilingual cereal packaging.

You are excited whenever an American television show mentions Canada.

You make a mental note to talk about it at work the next day.

You can do all the hand actions to Sharon, Lois and Bram’s “Skin-a-ma-rinky-dinky-doo” opus.

You can eat more than one maple sugar candy without feeling nauseous.

You were mad when “The Beachcombers” were taken off the air.

You know what a toque is.

You have some memento of Doug and Bob.

You know Toronto is not a province.

You never miss “Coaches Corner.”

Back bacon and Kraft Dinner are two of your favorites food groups.

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