Thursday, July 1, 2010
My country tis of thee - Oops. Oh beautiful for spacious - Oh man.
Sorry! OHH CANADA!
Happy Canada Day! This is so exciting! Fireworks! Corn on the cob! Star spangled - I mean, Maple spangled banners! A Declaration of In- (What, Ei! What do you mean it's not about independence? It's July, it's a national holiday, there's a parade... And Amelia said Canadians love BBQs...
Well fine, smarty pants. What is it then?
What?! I was about to grab a coffee! I don't have time to research this!
Oh, Canada, hello again. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! That's right, I know all about your "slightly different" national holiday. Go ahead, ask me about Canada - or should I say Dominion - Day!
Canada Day, known as Dominion Day until 1982, commemorates the day, in 1867, when two British colonies united to form: CANADA! It's similar to America's Independence Day - both celebrate documents and acts solidifying our democratic nations. However, instead of memorializing a divorce from its parents, Canada celebrates a peace-loving nativity. On the fourth of July, the states had just ended a blood-filled revolution against Britain. But on July first, Canada was on course for a less confrontational union. The British/North America act of 1867 started it all. Canada took its time - Easy does it! - parting from the Brits. Finally, in 1982, with the act that changed Dominion Day to Canada Day, Canada gained full separation from England. Ahhh. At last Canada could change its constitution without Britain's approval. And the gentle separation paid off! They're still the best of friends. In fact, this year the Queen's flying to Ottawa to celebrate!
So, what do Canadians do on their special day, you ask? Well, it's one of those vaguely distinct customary differences that make Ei and I check our sanity. (BBQs, parades, political speeches - It's just like the fourth of July - But something's different - People are less drunk, less abrasive, less red-white-and-blue - Am I home - Am I abroad - Chelsea wake up, you must be dreaming!!!) We plan on going out into the field to pinpoint Canadian pride, first hand.
And hey, Americans, in case Canada's coolness is starting to put any of you to shame, there's a dark detail I must mention. Quebec isn't a big fan of Canada Day. The Francophone province, traditionally opposed to most national movements, has long advocated its independence from Canada. Black sheep? Don't ask me! All I know is it makes me feel a little more at home to witness family drama on a holiday.
Here's to you, Canada. I hope we both have wonderful celebrations right next door to each other this year. I wish I could go to Detroit or Buffalo where they're having three-day, dual-country festivals. That's the way to do it. We're all family - no one, and no holiday, is better than the other. Let's all get loud and friendly and hot and eat something salty off a long pointy stick.