Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Oh Canada!

Photo from Google Images

I often envied my American friends because I always thought that they were far more patriotic than we are in Canada. When I spent Thanksgiving (American Thanksgiving is after Canadian Thanksgiving) with my friends in Philadelphia, I was in awe of how patriotic the majority of the people were. The American flag proudly swayed outside of every house on the street (I kid you not! I am going to have to search for the photos I took of this amazing sight). Inside my friend's house, still more American flags!

The family discussions at the dinner table were of politics, society, politics, immigrants, politics, employment (or rather, unemployment). Oh, and did I mention politics? :) The immigrant part made me a bit uncomfortable, because though I'm not an immigrant (I was born, raised, and have lived in Canada my whole life), I'm also not Caucasian. I guess I was used to a more diverse, multicultural, open, liberal, welcoming environment. My friend's uncle kept calling me "Connie Chung". He kept calling our other friend "That Mexican". Funny, because our friend is American (but his background is Portuguese)!

Anyway, I have come to realize that Canadians are patriotic our own way. Though we may travel with a Canadian flag stitched onto our backpacks, I think we're sort of quieter about our patriotism. I don't often talk about all the reasons why I love the country I was born in, raised in, and live in. I don't know why I haven't voiced my thoughts and feelings about this before.

Well, in honour of Canada's birthday, here are my top ten things I love most about Canada:

1. Our Freedom: Canada is a democratic country and we are fortunate to live in a country where we have freedom of speech and religion.

2. Our Changing Seasons: Though I may sometimes complain about how long and how cold the Winters are and how short and how unbearably hot the Summers are, I do love our changing seasons. I love being able to see the changing of the leaves in the Fall and the new growth in the Spring. I love the first snowfall in the Winter and all the outdoor activities we can do. I love spending my days outside and at the beach in the Summer.

3. Our Health Care: I am so thankful that we live in a country where we don't have to go broke trying to pay medical bills. I'm not saying that we don't have any medical bills, because we do. However, we are fortunate enough to have a health care system that covers the necessities. Many of you who have been reading the blog know that I gave birth to Little One seven months ago and she was twelve weeks premature. Thanks to our health care system, we were able to have a healthy, well cared for baby girl. With all the medical equipment and technology, the incubator/isolette, the meds, the doctors, nurses, and everything else that is required to keep a baby that small and that young alive, it would have cost us thousands (or even a million!) dollars to keep Little One in the hospital for the first two months of her life. Even with insurance, it would have been a very heavy bill to pay.

I know there are many people who complain about our health care system, but in the grand scheme of things, we are very fortunate. We don't have to take on a second or third job to keep our loved ones alive. We don't have to sell our homes just to pay our medical bills. We go to the doctor if we're sick. We go to the hospital if we've got a medical emergency. It's not like in some places where only the privileged get the medical attention they need.

4. Our Multiculturalism: When I lived in Toronto, what I loved the most was being able to walk through different areas of the city and soak in the culture and diversity. There was Cabbage Town, Greek Town, China Town, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Brazil Town, Korea Town, and so on. How wonderful it was to be able to appreciate the diversity! Okay, and appreciate the FOOD too! :) That is something I miss a lot about living on the Island. This is one of the reasons I am going to be taking Little One to Toronto and Montreal as often as I can. Living in a multicultural society taught me acceptance, tolerance, understanding, appreciation, and sensitivity for other cultures. Of course there is sometimes friction between cultures, but overall living in a multicultural country is such a wonderful thing.

5. The Scenery: We have such a beautiful landscape. If you travel coast to coast, you'll see how beautiful the country is. Lush, green, diverse, clean...that's what comes to mind when I think about our landscape. We've also got the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, the Prairies, and the Maritimes.

6. Hockey: There's nothing like hanging out with friends and watching a hockey game. Although, I have to admit that since I moved to the Island, I haven't watched as much hockey as I used to. Pretty odd, since hockey is a popular sport on the Island.

7. Tim Horton's: Nothing beats an iced cappuccino or a half hot chocolate/half French Vanilla! I'm not a big coffee drinker (though I LOVE coffee!). I have an adverse reaction to coffee. It makes me fall asleep. It seriously knocks me out cold within minutes.

8. Water: We can drink the water out of the taps. We can swim in our rivers and lakes. We can go fishing in our rivers, lakes and streams...and it's safe to eat the fish.

9. Maple Syrup: There's just something so special about going to the Cabane a Sucre (the Sugar Shack) and having the smell of maple syrup waft through the air. A hay ride, a walk through the bush, and a big breakfast with maple syrup slathered over everything is the one of the best experiences ever!

As a kid from the city, I used to go to the Cabane a Sucre with my family or with my school. I remember drizzling fresh maple sap onto the clean, white snow and twirling it onto a popsicle stick to make an amazing maple treat! Now that I live on the Island, Hubby and I make our own maple syrup! What a wonderful thing to be able to share with Little One!

10. Beavertails (not real beavers' tails! I'm talking about the sweet pastry that looks like a beaver tail!), ice wine, poutine, butter tarts, fresh produce, wild blueberries, lobster, and Nanaimo Bars! I could go on and on, but this post is getting long! :)

Happy Canada Day, to all my Canadian friends out there!!! :)


japanmanpete said...

I find that you Canadians are very patriotic with your Canadian flags on your rucksacks. You lot love your country! Admit it!

Cheers, love, and beer!


C said...

Really? LOL! Hey, any luck on the Totoro findings?

Jeanna said...

Happy Canada Day, Chrissy. You know I think of you living closer to me than Jimmy. In my mind you're about 8 hours past Lisa and Heidi.
I can do without number ten, especially since I just went wild and ate a box of Moo Chews and Udder Fingers (meant for Lisa, didn't fit in the package).
But Connie Chung, seriously? I would have been all over that old fart cracker like ugly on a dawg.
Too many flags hide a David Lynchian ugliness within.

Jeanna said...

Okay, I just saw the next word ver and it is, I'm not kidding, "depoop."
De poop was all over da place after one too many Beavertails covered in maple syrup and wild blueberries.

C said...

Thanks! I was actually going to check out a map to see how far we really are from you. I had a dream that we went for a road trip and picked up Jimbo, Ms.Mamma and SF and headed to yours on our way to visit J ( Crazy dream...and the road trip was even crazier. I was driving a huge RV. You gave SF and LO lots of chocolate. Jimmy, Ab & Em were eating beef jerky while Ms.Mamma was snapping pics of all of this.

I've been having lots of crazy dreams these past few days. Weird!

C said...

Word ver= suffide

Yeah, the Connie Chung thing ticked me off a bit, but in general I'm not a very confrontational person. My friend said I was a "typical" Canadian....meaning I was non-confrontational, I guess? LOL! Talk about stereotyping, eh? I can be confrontational at times. I just figured that it was Thanksgiving, the uncle had a few too many to drink, he was set in his ways. You know, no sense saying anything because he wouldn't listen anyway. Our friend, "The Mexican" (who wasn't Mexican at all!) didn't even bother saying anything either. Every time a racist remark was made, I'd look at my friend and he'd kind of whisper, "Just let it be". LOL!

I dunno. Most of the times when I feel something is not right (like discrimination, racism, or anything like that), I will stand up for what I believe in and defend people. This time, I didn't because it wasn't worth it. The uncle probably wouldn't have remembered anything he said in the morning anyway.

HAHA! You should get a prize for the best use of a word ver! Very impressive, Jeanna! Da poop from da beavertails covered in maple syrup and wild blueberries!! Too funny!

japanmanpete said...

Yes! Bloody hell, mate! You lot are fiercely proud of your country! Maple leaf on everything! Canada this, Canada that. I reckon I would be the same way. Canada is a lovely country. Just remember who your 'Mother Country' is!

Cheers, love, and beer!


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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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