Wednesday, July 04, 2007

O Canada

I have been wanting to write something for the last couple of days on what it means to me to be a Canadian but I was having a hard time wrapping my head around what I wanted to say. I was trying to think of what is unique about our country. When I think of European countries I think of national costumes, national dance and so on. We don't have that. We don't have traditions that are just ours. We used to have the RCMP as ours with their uniforms. I used to love to watch their shows at the PNE with the horses and their display musical rides. But now they have allowed some RCMP to not wear the whole uniform so because of a very very few officers we now have even lost that one thing that was uniquely ours. I don't like that. I mean if you don't want to wear the whole uniform then don't join it's plain and simple in my eyes.

When we sang our National Anthem at church on Sunday I still sang it in French as I always do. I asked my grandchildren if they still sing it in school. They said yes they sing it once a week but not every child has to participate. WHAT???? Who came up with that rule??? That should be a given! If someone wants to come to our country to live here and we are nice enough to allow them to, then they should become Canadians and sing the anthem when it was played, I was flabbergasted to say the least!

I thought of when it had been the last time I sang the anthem and it had been at a hockey game a couple of months ago. Most people didn't even sing along, a lot were still wearing their hats and some were still talking and joking around and some didn't even stand up. How disrespectful! I even gave them "the look" but that went right over their heads. These were all late teens/20ish young adults. It was very upsetting to me to say the least. When I was watching the Stanley Cup playoff game this season and the cameras would pan the fans in the audience you would see them with their hands over their hearts and singing with enthusiasm even the little children.

Why is that not like that here? I thought of our soldiers at war in Afghanistan. I don't agree with them being there but I do support them while they are there. They are proud to be Canadian and they are there to serve their country to the death if need be. Why is it that they can risk their lives for their country but some here can not even take their hats off to sing the anthem and show respect for their country?

Every Monday night at our house was stew night. My mom would take all the leftovers from the previous week and make a thick stew with it. We loved it! It was a like a melting pot of flavours and always a surprise of sorts as it never tasted the same! As I was thinking about what it meant to me to be a Canadian I thought of that stew. Our country is made up of all these different "ingredients" and nothing is the same as it used to be. There are too many different aspects of our country now to be unique anymore and that is sad.

I am proud to be a Canadian. I love my country. I love living in a "free" country where I am free to worship where I want and when I want. I love living in a country where I can walk outside without fear of being bombed. I love having the same rights as everyone not just the rich.

On the front of my Book of Remembrance I have a page that says "You can't know where you are going if you don't know where you come from." As I was thinking of my family history I came to the final conclusion that seeing as my family lines have been in Canada since at least the 1700's on most lines, I can safely say I am proud to call myself a Canadian. I will continue with the traditions that have passed down from one generation to the next and will teach my grandchildren these same. I will continue speaking in both Canadian official languages. I will continue to stand and sing the national anthem when in public. I can only respect myself as a Canadian and hope that in so doing I will lead by example.


Carmen said...

I need to take from your example. I am not a proud Canadian. When people ask me what I am, I say "Italian". That is my heritage. BUT I am first generation Canadian! I was the ONE born first in my family in Canada. I should extremely proud of that... Yet I am not. I need to be. Thank you for the reminder.