Thursday, July 1, 2010

10 Things I love About Canada
(Well, this will be easy...)

1. Niagara Falls. Have you been? If not, you should go. It's breathtaking. Travel Tip: Don't wear a white shirt like I did (above), the mist is so thick that I had a wet shirt after about 10 minutes of standing at the edge. Oops.
2. Freedom. And the kind of freedom that doesn't cause pain. When Anne Coulter (*shudder) came to Canada enough students showed up to protest at the University of Ottawa that they cancelled her 'talk'. While we accept, promote & protect free speech, we also are smart enough to know that freedom can quickly become negative when it promotes hate. I was saddened that Fox news (albeit not surprised) made it sound like Canadians have no real Freedom. We do. And when the majority of us show up & ask someone we see as 'hateful' to leave, THAT is us exercising that freedom. If complete freedom allows someone to say hurtful & painful things in a PLACE/forum where they are not wanted, it's not working. I like that although we have a freedom of speech, we can't abuse that freedom at the cost of others. If people want to be hateful & hurtful, they can do so in their own hateful communities and forums... and not in my school, front yard or community. I am proud of our 'Happy Medium' so stuff it Fox News.
3. Winter. As paralyzing as it can be, I love winter. I believe winter has given us a large part of our culture. I rarely feel more Canadian than when I am on the slopes, shoveling the driveway or checking the weather channel.
4. Land. I can't say it's all 'exciting'. I drive 8 hours to our cabin in Saskatchewan & let me tell you, parts of that drive are Borrrrr-ing. But you can't argue that the amount of land we have is impressive. Even in Saskatchewan, looking up & seeing no end to it all, I am impressed. I makes me feel like part of something BIG.

5. Diversity. I have friends who are Canadian but also call themselves Lebanese, Chinese & Indian. I like that you can be both.
6. Acceptance. I lived with a lesbian couple for a year when I was in Australia, as much as they loved each other, they could not be married. I wondered how their country felt they had the right to decide that. Whether you support gay marriage (I do), abortion, or other controversial human rights issues is up to you, I am proud of Canada for putting the decisions in the hands of the people. Our politicians are busy running our country not our lives. I am proud of that.

7. Our place. I don't mean our home... I mean our 'global standing'. I am proud of Canada. We don't claim internationally to be the best, we can accept that 'the best' comes in all shapes & forms. We don't boast that we are 'The most powerful country on Earth'. And, with the exception of Fox News (haha!) I think the world views us just about how we would like them to. We are independent, we don't require a lot of assistance and we are happy to assist, but we won't compromise our values.
8. We take care of each other. To the best of our ability we will take care of our own. We know how important health care is and understand that it is a basic RIGHT. Can you imagine not having that? I know it's hard for Americans who have gone to long without it to suddenly try to imagine a different way, but I think it can work for them too. I hope it can. I'd like to see our neighbors taking care of each other as well.
9. Funny words. One thing I love about traveling is learning the uniqie slang each country has. Stop and think about ours for a moment. We call a one dollar coin and Loonie. Bizzare. And then there's a toonie. Here's a couple more; Homo Milk, Ginch, Pencil Crayon, Pop, BunnyHug & Tuque.
10. Canadian wine. I am so exciting that some of the most talented wine makers are setting up shop right next door. I can't wait to hit up the Okanagan this year & see what the years best brings.

1 comment:

Carol T said...

Love this, Haley! I'm so proud to be Canadian.