That very cold, accepting, notorious, accommodating, diverse, ascending country located north of America, where freedom is available to anyone who wants it and pride is written across each man’s chest everyday is none other than the great white north, Canada. Home to over 35 million people of mixed ethnicities, Canada continues to impress me every day with it’s evolvement, various initiatives, and distinct characteristics. As a proud Canadian myself, I feel privileged to wake up every day knowing that I am safe, have access to an education and health care, and of course, have an endless supply of maple syrup at my fingertips. With endless opportunities available to all of it’s citizens, it is my (slightly bias opinion) that Canada is quite honestly, the most amazing place to live.
Written in our national anthem as “strong and free”, Canada’s main asset is in fact the freedom that you are gifted with. Yet, some fail to understand the true capacity of the term “free”. As a Canadian, you are free to think, feel, speak and react how you feel is appropriate. This is a privilege that people living in many other countries do not have. The information you receive and opinions that you formulate are in no sense, censored or tampered with. If there is a cause that you feel passionately about, you are free to stand up and protest. You are free to love who you choose to love. You are free to worship the God of your choice. You are free to choose who will govern your country, and you are free to be who you want to be. Freedom is so important to Canadians, they are detailed along with an extensive list of rights in what is called the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is a nation that leaves decisions up to it’s citizens and never fails to give them an abundance of opportunities. So now I must ask you this, what freedom have you over looked while being a Canadian? For me, it’s my freedom of speech.
As an evolving nation, Canada has proved to keep up with more than just the latest iPhone. It has in fact, become a melting pot of cultures and has proved that there is more than one type of Canadian. Originally seen as an aboriginal nation, the country is now thriving off of it’s immigrants and diversity. By simply walking down a busy street anywhere in Canada, you will hear more than just our native tongue of English and French being spoken. You will also notice an array of foods available within walking distance from each other. From (my favourite) hummus and pita, to lasagna and tiramisu, Canada offers a wide variety of cuisine. Over the years, many cultures have even created their own communities such as China Town or Little Italy, which contribute to the multiculturalism. I absolutely love seeing the beautiful traditional clothes of India and celebrating wonderful holiday’s such as the Chinese NewYear with the people of my community. The fact that they can bring these types of traditions to Canada and have it be accepted is incredible and I am so thankful to live in a country where people can embrace their heritage. Next question: What’s your favourite cultural food? Besides hummus and pita, I definitely have a soft spot for mexican rice!
Don’t get me wrong, despite our diversity, we are also unique and possess many of our own great Canadian qualities. I mean who else lives in an igloo, drives a polar bear, owns 53 pairs of snow shoes, ice-fishes for every meal and put’s maple syrup on their steak? Oh wait, we don’t even do that… We do however, love a good game of hockey, eat french fries with gravy (and call it a poutine), enjoy cold winter seasons with a cup of Tim’s coffee in our hand, say “Eh” quite frequently and are known to be extremely polite. These are only a few of the things that make Canada so unique and such a great place to be. But of course, every individual is unique! Thus, their likes and dislikes may vary, creating an even more diverse atmosphere. So now i’m wondering, what’s the craziest Canadian stereotype you’ve ever heard? I still can’t get over the fact that some people think we ride polar bears to school!
Our somewhat “free” access to health care and education also allows us to stand out from other nations. Funded through taxes, Canadians can feel at ease when their child has a cold or an elderly person needs a medication. They also don’t have to worry about weather or not they can send their child to school. In ninth grade, I met an immigrant from Kenya who spent every waking moment he had in the library while I complained about being given too much homework. I distinctly remember him looking at me and asking me why I was so upset to be given homework. His question stunned me. Here I was, complaining about having ‘too much homework’, when all he could ever dream of was having any at all. This young man made me see things in a whole new light. He taught me to be thankful for the opportunities that I am given, because somewhere across the world, is a child wishing they can be in your shoes. Since then, I’ve used my freedom of speech and life lesson learned from this young man to empower others. I now value my education and health care, and am careful not to abuse it. I hope to one day be able to give the gift of education and health care to others across the globe, so that they too can enjoy some of Canada’s many luxuries.
Home of the famous beaver tail and teen heart throb Justin Bieber, Canada is well known for far more than it’s war free zone, abundance of fresh-water and beautiful rural to urban landscapes. I look forward to visiting the iconic CN-Tower this August and adventuring through Nova Scotia in the fall. Small, but mighty, Canada has so much to offer and I am proud to call myself a Canadian.
Cold, accepting, notorious, accommodating, diverse, ascending.
Ps. 18 MORE DAYS UNTIL NATIONALS!! Who’s excited??? I’M EXCITED!!!