There is something of a lyrical misstep in the words of the Canadian national anthem, in which reference is made to “our home and native land”. Well, since about half the population was born abroad, the native land thing doesn’t really wash any longer. If I was born in Bulgaria, then Bulgaria would, in fact, be my native land and Canada would be my adopted land.
But, that’s quibbling. Though I have yet another quibble with that anthem (despite the fact I find anthems to be rather sappy, except perhaps the French one, it’s pretty cool and inspiring; remember that scene in Casablanca in Rick’s Bar when the Nazis are in there and the other patrons all break out in the anthem? I defy you not to be moved and a bit teary).
Anyway, my quibble with ours is that they seem to keep changing the lyrics so when I try to sing along I get it wrong, so in recent years I’ve basically given up the singing part and just stand politely when called upon.
Some other Canadian stuff as pertains to me:
– I mentioned the changes in anthem lyrics. They’ve also changed so many things since I was young. We have substituted O Canada as anthem for that former tribute to a lovely foreign lady, as in God Save the Queen. That was a good thing.
– The old Red Ensign is gone and that to is probably good despite the fact that our lads and lasses fought in a lot of wars under that ensign. But, it was a bit vestigially Brit in ambience.
– Likewise the old ‘Royal Mail’ vans that used to deliver our mail when a letter cost five cents to send off.
A recent poll mounted for Canada Day this year said that the greatest percentage of Canadians valued our scenery over anything else. That is to me kind a weird choice, since scenery is scenery and other places are pretty, as well, even though they might have horrible systems. We have, despite our incessant bitching about it a pretty decent democratic system that is maybe (to me at least) a little more important than the prettiness of Lake Louise. One thing I do like, however, is that scenery-wise my own province, BC, ahs it in aces compared to elsewhere.
They say the Maritimes are pretty nice too. I haven’t been there, I am a bit ashamed to say. Much as I have never been to the north. I have an allergy to ‘north’, I think. I’ve flown over it many times. It looks fine from 35,000 feet, and that is the perspective I’d favor, I think. I’ve heard about those black flies.
As an aside, in that same poll the international ‘fame’ of Justin Bieber ranked about 3,456th in importance to Canadians, and that spoke well of us, I thought.
I have a pretty good relationship with my country and I am infinitely happy to have been born here and raised here and while I sometimes get pissed about living here, generally I approve. I know I’d be even crankier if I lived in some other places. When I lived in England – and loved it, by the way – I was still sometimes driven to say: “You put up with that?” and also, “Why don’t your %^$## toilets ever flush properly.”
Canada: Where toilets flush predictably.