What better time to reflect on what it means to be Canadian than on Canada Day. For Canadians, there are several different ways to describe Canadian identity because of the diverse nature of Canada. In my opinion, I don't believe there is a set definition and it isn't enough to say that Canada is all about hockey, Tim Hortons and the outdoors. There are so many different voices in Canada and each voice has a different view on what it means to be Canadian. Whether you were born in Canada, immigrated to the vast nation or you're just paying a visit, today is a great day to think about Canadian identity. It's probably best to do all your critical thinking during the day so you can enjoy the fireworks at night.
What others have said about Canada:
We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege.
- Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party. Like: "Keep it down, eh?"
- Robin Williams
Canada is a nation of people who came from somewhere else.
- Microsoft Encarta
There isn’t any one Canada, any average Canadian, any average place, any type.
– Miriam Chapin
Do you agree with some of these quotes or disagree? Perhaps there are others that you've found that resonate a little more with how you feel about Canada. Whatever your view may be about the country, take some time to think it over. Maybe start a discussion with some friends or relatives. Ask yourself what you value about Canada? What parts of Canada have you seen or would like to see? Are there any changes you would like to see implemented?
If you're currently taking a university class or plan to take a class that focuses on Canadian content, I applaud you. If you've already done so, my hat goes off to you. It's beneficial to learn and understand the country you live in from either a political, economic or cultural standpoint, or all three if you're able to. That way you can speak about it in an informed manner. You are part of the fabric of this society and you have a voice.
This Canada Day I challenge you pick up a novel by a Canadian author and finish reading it before the summer is over, or to go and rent a film by a Canadian director or see an art exhibit that focuses on Canadian culture. I don't want to disrupt your usual media intake, but I do want to expand it. I encourage you to read books, watch films, and view art from all parts of the world. I also encourage you to take some time to appreciate the many Canadian artists vying for your attention.