Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Happy Canada Day Eh?!
Well, as most of you know, I'm Canadian. Canada Day is celebrated on July 1 each year. It's not unlike July 4 here in the USA. We have fireworks and outdoor concerts and barbecues and all that great stuff that comes with summer and celebrations. It is a celebration of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the British North America Act, which united Canada as a single country of four provinces. In Canada, the establishment of the country is also known as Confederation.
In celebration of the day, I thought I'd offer some facts about Canada that you might, or might not, know.
1. Canada is the second largest country in the world (Russia is the largest).
2. Canada and the USA share the world's longest common border.
3. Canada is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories. The provinces and territories are similar to states.
4. Canada has two official languages - French and English. That doesn't mean that all Canadians speak French! It is spoken widely in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, and to a lesser extent in other provinces and territories.
5. Canada is named after an Iroquois word, "kanata," which means village or settlement.
I was born in the province of Quebec, but lived most of my life in the province of Nova Scotia. I also spent 11 years of my life in the province of Ontario. I love Canada dearly - after all, it is my homeland. I miss certain things about it that are in some ways intangible and difficult to describe. Most of all, I miss family and friends.
For me, being Canadian is a part of who I am and it defines certain things about me. That said, I believe that it doesn't really matter where one is born and where one lives one's life. What matters most is what one makes of one's life, and how one contributes to the lives of others. I could have been born in any country in the world, and I would still be, at the core, the same person that I am now. I embrace all cultures, all people, and all countries for their own strengths and weaknesses. I do not believe that there is a "greatest country in the world" because all countries have their own remarkable qualities and their own failings.
I live in the USA for now, but that doesn't mean I will always live here. Part of me would love to return to Canada. Part of me would love a new adventure in a different country. New Zealand appeals to me, but since I have dual citizenship with the UK, I could also live and work anywhere in Europe. How about a villa in Tuscany?! I'm open to adventure, but I try to remain realistic as well. Who knows what the future holds!
Best wishes to my homeland and all family and friends in Canada for a wonderful Canada Day!