Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Canada 150+

I am Canadian. My family has been in Canada for 4 generations. Being a Canadian citizen is part of my identity. I love a lot of things about Canada, let me name just a few!

I love Canada’s diversity. I love that Canada is made up of so many beautiful people with different backgrounds. I love that Canadians can celebrate our differences and learn from them, but that we have a sense of solidarity through national pride- we’re all different, but we’re all Canadian; that’s what makes Canada the beautiful mosaic that it is.

One of the ways that I have greatly benefited from Canada’s multiculturalism is through cuisine. Growing up in a small town in Southern Manitoba, there was not a large variety of cuisine options. Other than generic pizza and burger joints, we had one Chinese food restaurant in town. Since I’ve moved to Toronto, I’ve had tons of opportunities to sample some of my old favourite cuisines (Mexican, Japanese, Indian, and Greek), and I’ve found a few new favourites as well (Jamaican, Ethiopian, Lebanese).

See Canadian mini fabric bunting on our Etsy shop 

Another thing I love about Canada is the diversity between the provinces; from the mountains of BC, to the fishing villages on the east coast (that I have yet to visit), and the wheat and canola fields as far as the eye can see in the prairies between. When I moved from Manitoba to Southern Ontario, I did not anticipate any differences, because it’s all Canada. I was wrong! There’s more diversity in Southern Ontario, a warmer climate, and you don’t get the same cheerful greetings from everyone you pass on the sidewalk as you do in Friendly Manitoba (just a little shout out to my homeland :) ).

The changing seasons we have in Canada bring me so much joy. I love them all! Spring, summer, fall, and call me crazy, but I even love winter! There is a big public garden close to my house, and as soon as the grass turns green in spring things start to bloom. I walk through it every week or so throughout the spring/summer/fall, and it looks different on every visit. The landscapers who planned it must have put so much thought and love into it, because there is always something new blooming! Here are a few photos from my walk through the garden today:

I’ve spent a lot of time talking about what Canada means to me today, but it’s important to remember the rich indigenous history in Canada. Indigenous peoples were living in Canada for 10,000 years before European colonials arrived. During this time the Indigenous population was able to satisfy all of their material and spiritual needs with the resources available to them in the nature they were surrounded by. The various indigenous cultures all share a deep connection to and respect for the earth, oral traditions, sacred spiritual ceremonies, and art traditions that continue to this day.

As we celebrate Canada 150+, I encourage you all to reflect on what you love and appreciate about this country, as well as the rich history that extends a lot further than 150 years ago.


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