July 1, 2011

Oh Canada!


I am Canadian. I love that I am. Even though I live in the U.S. Tonight we'll break out the All Dressed Chips, Smarties, Caffeine Free Mountain Dew, and other Canadian treats we brought back from our recent visit and have a little party here, but right now I think about how grateful I am to be Canadian. Politics, Education, Lifestyle, Our Heritage and much more than our accents distinguish us from our neighbors to the South. But I'm not going to get into all that. Instead let's discuss something that I feel is really important.

You see, after living in the U.S. for 6 years I can confidently say that the teasing, the negative comments about Canada to my face, and even the horrible Canadian jokes don't just verge on racism - but given any other situation (ie. any other country of origin) are racism. Why is it that such bullying, rudeness and utter lack of disrespect for one's nationality is OK when directed at a Canadian, but not for Mexicans, Asians, Indians, and so on? I've experienced it, I've endured it, and tolerated it. But I feel the need to stand up for my nation. Yes, even though I've lost some of my accent, and I live in the U.S. I still get teased about being Canadian. Really people? Do you realize how rude and demeaning your behavior is? And if you really want to mock me could you please learn the proper placement of  eh?

If you look at it all though, the problem lies in our similarities. When you see a Canadian you can't tell them apart from any American. Only when they finally distinguish themselves by using a slang term or catch their accent would you know them apart. Of course, a simple proud declaration of nationality always helps too. We love who we are. We are proud to be Canadian, and perhaps our humble acceptance of the mocking shows how truly awesome of a nation we are. We don't get upset, we don't yell at you for being so rude, for the most part we just take it. Although if I caught an American travelling on the streets of Italy sporting a Canadian Flag in order to "be a little safer" during their travels I might let the frustration all out. Anyhow, I believe our lack of major distinguishing features and the ability we have to communicate so well make it a lot more difficult for those Americans who are so rude to even realize how negative their actions can be. Isn't it just light teasing? I understand that may be what was in mind, but beware of the direction a little teasing can go. Please. It can go too far.

Honestly, I do not usually rant about such things. Don't worry. I have a loving American husband and our children will all be dual citizens - raised to love both countries they came from. I may even become a American Citizen someday too. BUT they will be taught about both places, they will travel both countries, and enjoy celebrating several extra holidays! I love my heritage and the wonderful country I am from. I love the country I live in now. I am blessed to have the best of it all.

For these really cute free Canadian Printables (shown below) go HERE.


Alexis Guenther said...

Amen , sista! I love love love being a Canadian!!!

Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

I'm a Canadian living in the States as well {with an American husband and five American children}. We celebrate Canada Day in a small way {we had a maple leaf cake this year} but I LOVE the idea of breaking out all the Canadian food we love. It might take a little pre-planning since we can't get any of it here but you've inspired me for next year!

Barbara said...

I apologize for Americans who do such things. You are quite right and I whole-heartedly support you. I am a great admirer of Canada and her citizens. You exhibit far more class and good taste than most of my countryment, and I applaud you for it. We're not all like that; I was the butt of something distasteful today, too, that was done by a British citizen, and I voiced my opinion, too, and she apologized. I'm proud of being an American, and I'm proud to know Canadians who stand up for their own dignity, too. Thank you, my friend.

Ryan and Amanda said...

Loved this post Maggie, you said my thoughts to a tee.