Ah, Canada. Land of Sorry, Eh, and Timmies. Did you know Canadian mothers drink maple syrup during pregnancy to ensure their child is super Canadian? Oh, and we’re born in igloos and ride our first moose by age 9, if you hadn’t heard.
Well, some of those might be exaggerated. Or invented. But I won’t deny that I love having a Tim Horton’s across from our office, or that I do, in fact, say ‘eh’ on a regular basis. Does this make me more Canadian than a Vietnamese immigrant? Does the syrup course through my veins in a way that a Venezuelan refugee could never feel? Not in my books!
DC Canada wants you to remember that we are all true Canadians, no matter our origins. The beauty of a new country like ours is that we encompass a wide range of cultures, traditional cuisines, styles, beliefs, identities, and perspectives. I’m actually typing this post from the shawarma capital of Canada: Ottawa. Thank you, Arab community! In how many countries could you have an authentic Chinese dinner one night, a continental North American buffet for breakfast the next day, and Greek souvlaki as an afternoon snack?
Although Canada, like every country, has its issues and debates, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms ensures that every Canadian, young or old, black or white, gay or straight, and anyone in between has equal opportunities in all aspects of life. But sometimes, legal documents are tedious and overwhelming. Why not find out more about the Charter with Dustin Milligan’s children’s series?
Kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing Justin Beiber as a beaver, will cheer on a feminist cow by the name of Emooly Murphy, and will fight alongside Anne of Green Tomatoes as she defends her right to safety. These engaging stories—each set in a different Canadian province and territory—show how the protagonists’ rights were infringed and how they fought back.
As Canadians, we pride ourselves on believing in equal treatment and mutual respect. Our territory may span thousands of communities filled with complex individuals, but every July 1st, we join hands in solidarity and, as one great nation, as one great family, we proudly display our maple leaves, set up our fireworks, and paint our faces red and white.
To everyone who worries that globalization is undermining Canadian identity: it’s our multiethnicity that makes us special. We are indigenous. We are immigrants. We are 7th generation French Canadian. We are shawarma-lovers and wear hijabs and have henna tattoos on our hands. We speak Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, and Swahili. We praise God, or Allah, or Buddha, or nobody.
We are from all over the world and, by some stroke of cosmic luck, have made a home here in Canada, sharing our cultures and creating an identity so diverse and intricate that no other country could dream of replicating it. So, fly your flag proudly on Canada Day. We’re all part of something incredible: a country that defines itself by not letting any singular belief define it.