Happy Canada Day 2013 or Do Not Kill the Wallflowers

This is a slightly edited version of a post I wrote last year–

“Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place…they
are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom.” ~ an Australian
dentist.

Our egos are intact. We are proud Canadians. We make fun of ourselves
in amusing diatribes casting ourselves as beer drinkers and puck
shufflers. One of our national symbols is an ornery rodent with a fierce
overbite. The other is the “maple leaf forever” (though I suspect that
our love and loyalty to the proud maple is the fact that the tree
produces that lovely amber nectar known to all of us who love pancakes:
maple syrup.)

As a true “too modest to toot our own horn” Canadian, I am turning to
an outside source or two to brag about our accolades. We tend to define
ourselves with tongue in cheek stand-up comedy routines, but we are
much more than that. My sources, an Australian dentist and a British journalist see
us as brave unsung heroes.

First, the dentist. He spied an ad in the news that someone in a
foreign country (the country was named, but my journalistic instincts
{or spidey senses} lead me to believe  it would not be fair to name it)
was offering a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian, so he developed a
definition that would throw would-be assassins off our scent. When you
read his description of us, you will understand:

“A Canadian can be English or French, or Italian, Irish, German,
Spanish, Polish or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian,
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani
or Afghan. A Canadian may also be a Cree, Metis, Mohawk, Blackfoot or
Sioux.

A Canadian’s religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish,
Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none….the key difference is that in Canada
they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

A Canadian is generous and (they) have helped out just about every
other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in
return.  Canadians welcome the best of everything…but they also welcome
the least, the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected.

You can try to kill a Canadian, if you must, as other bloodthirsty
tyrants in the world have tried, but in doing so you may be killing a
relative or a neighbour. This is because Canadians are not a particular
people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human
spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be
a Canadian.”

All that and we play a fierce game of hockey too. Whether or not you
agree with everything the Australian says, there is nary a word about
beer, beavers or maple syrup. It is nice to be defined by who we are and
what we do and not just by clichés and national symbols.

British journalist, Kevin Myers also provides a grand nod to Canadians in an article he
wrote for the London Sunday Telegraph. Titled, “Salute to a brave and
modest nation” he describes Canadians as perpetual “wallflowers”. At
first glance, this does not seem particularly complimentary. But in
context, it does remind us that we do not just do the right thing for
glory and recognition.

Myers says, “Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the
edge of the hall, waiting for someone to…ask her for a dance. A fire
breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers and
suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing
resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once
helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet
again.”

“Canada,” Myers states emphatically, “repeatedly does the honourable things for honourable motives.”

While Myers does a nice job of complimenting Canada, his one downfall
is that he pities the fact that we go unrecognized. Majestic Canada and
her subjects need no one’s sympathy. Recognition is nice, but it is
beside the point.

On July 1st, Canadians celebrate this great country
of which we are blessed to be a part. Happy Canada Day, and as the
dentist down under said so eloquently: “Keep your stick on the ice.”

Maple syrup houses

Maple syrup houses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And to our neighbours to the south, Happy 4th of July ~ you have many a proud tradition to celebrate too!

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Published in: on July 1, 2013 at 9:35 am  Comments (40)  

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40 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes!

  2. There are countries that have perhaps qualities that may be nice if we had .. for me that would be ‘warm’ temperatures 365 days a year, or perhaps palaces, architectural wonders, opulence of their society etc. etc. but there is no other country that I would want to call home other than Canada…. We are rich beyond measure… Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians Diane

  3. I love Canadians. They’re Australians with funny accent.
    Wishing you a wonderful day 🙂

  4. What a wonderful tribute to Canada LouAnn!! Happy Canada Day to you. I hope you have a wonderfully relaxing day :).

    • I have to work–no rest for those who have a newspaper deadline–but I should be done in a couple of hours–then I have to type up a Financial Statement–after that , Mike’s hard lemonade here I come–Happy Canada Day! I have little Canadian flags in my windows to commemorate the day.

      • Are you going to see any fireworks tonight? We might check out the ones at the harbour here in Kingston tonight. We’ll just have to see how tired everyone is. It has been a busy weekend, especially for my parents who are both almost 80!! Enjoy your Mike’s :).

      • no fireworks for this girl–it is supposed to rain most of the day–but you have a good time!

      • It says showers here all day to but only 1mm of rain, so we are hoping for the best. It doesn’t matter though – as long as we get to relax and I don’t have to work, it’s all good :).

  5. I too wish for warmer temps year round but cannot imagine living anywhere else. I feel blessed. Happy Birthday Canada! Good post Lou.

    • I like winter, but not Ottawa winters–winters in the SunParlour are not too bad or too long usually (as you know)

  6. Happy Canada Day! I’ll have some maple syrup to celebrate with ya.

    • I will french toast you (get it–maple syrup–french toast–they say when you have to explain something it loses its cache)

      • It lost it. 😛

        A nice post, LouAnn, happy Canada day from your neighbor to the south.

      • thank you and Happy July 4th in a couple of days!

  7. Happy Canada Day! What a nice tribute to your country.

  8. Happy Canada Day. And thanks for your good wishes for the 4th of July.

  9. May your day of celebration of your homeland be a good one.

    I’m not into holidays but there are plenty of others that are and who will celebrate and not understand or care what the 4th represents.

  10. I wish we could see the sun here today, but I’m sure it won’t matter when it comes time for the fireworks. Enjoy the day. It’s nice when other cultures see us as we hope to be perceived..

  11. Happy Canada Day to you. 🙂

  12. Love it!! Happy Canada Day. I saw a tweet that said “I ran into a wall and apologized”. I tweeted back “you must be Canadian”. 🙂

  13. A wonderful post – Happy Canada Day to you! 🙂

  14. Lovely, how I wish the US could be described as the wallflower waing to be asked to dance

  15. Yes, that is how I’ve always perceived Canada, a country that does the right thing, and is a decent and generous member of the international community – unblemished by any of the blind spots that so many countries have.

  16. Happy Canada Day from your neighbor in the south.

  17. What a fantastic way to describe Canadians! I am forwarding it on to my first and oldest best friend – a Canadian! I always wondered where she got her heart of gold. 🙂


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