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The Maple Leaf Forever

G'Oh Canada!

I am ridiculously proud of being Canadian right now.

It's ridiculous, because I'm always proud of being a Canadian.

Ridiculous, because I'm not athletic in the least. In fact, I mistrust the culture of sports worship.
Ridiculous, because I know how awful Olympic politics can be, how overheated and chemically-suspect the athletic events are. Ridiculous because so much in the world - war, injustice, scientific progress, the fight for good - demands my attention and heart, and an athletic event is way, way down the list, and should be.

And yet ... and yet, I'm so proud of the Olympic Games being in Vancouver. Our country is so beautiful, and we are welcoming the world tonight. The fact that our First Nations were a major part of the ceremonies, and that it was considered proper that they be considered just that - nations - brought tears to my eyes.

Do well, Canada. Treat our visitors well. Compete honorably. Make friends. Be Magnificent.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
jlrpuck
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
It's so nice to see NBC show Canada the love and respect it deserves. And they actually did a fair job at conveying how very stunning (and diverse) your country is.

I really hope that the Olympics are a rousing success for Vancouver and Canada :)
kaffyr
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
Thank you.
buttonlass
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:43 am (UTC)
Do I get to be Canadian if a bunch of my family lives in Little Canada (a suburb in Minnesota)? No? Hrumph.

Being proud of being from such a neat place is totally understandable.:)
kaffyr
Feb. 13th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
Welcome to Canada - everyone can be a Canadian tonight!
maruad
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:54 am (UTC)
I missed the national anthemn (which I here was a smart move) but thought much of the ceremonies were well down. I especially liked the Sacred Grove portion. I will skip the odious or embarassing bits for now.

For those who do not know, to my knowledge, tap dancing is not really a part of our national heritage (I think it belongs to the nation of Vaudeville).
maruad
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
Arghh! my typo/spelling errors/wrong words are oppressing me! Sorry I don't have the ability to edit my mistakes on other folks blogs.
kaffyr
Feb. 13th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
Hmmm. You should be able to edit your comments, at least until someone else comments on them. Iz a puzzlement.
kaffyr
Feb. 13th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
The young lady who did Oh, Canada was actually not that bad!
maruad
Feb. 13th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
I am somewhat boring and a little tradition with my national anthemns. I really do not like hearing the various strange renditions of the Star Spangled Banner that are performed before sporting events.

The worst rendition of Oh Canada I can remember was performed by Burton Cummings at a Winnipeg Jets iirc. Too bad because I do respect him for attempts to keep in contact with his old home town.
kaffyr
Feb. 14th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
Most of the time I appreciate a traditional anthem, too. I think the young girl's obvious passion and pride in being able to sing for her country overcame my doubts.
markiv1111
Feb. 13th, 2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
Opening ceremonies
I watched only part of the opening ceremonies. (Louie had the TV remote.) But I was deeply moved by what I saw, and yes, that absolutely included the participation of the First Nations.) There have, by the way, been several stretches in my life during which I would have considered moving to Canada, but picking a new home town (Winnipeg) and getting all my stuff across the border, not to mention changing citizenship and getting a new job, would have been far, far too daunting. So I guess I'm stuck with appreciating Canada from across the border.

Nate
kaffyr
Feb. 14th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
Re: Opening ceremonies
Well, it would take me almost as much time and money to move back to Canada, and, as my life is inextricably woven into Chicago's tapestry, I will also have to appreciate My Home and Native Land from across the border. Heh.
apostle_of_eris
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
It seems to me that almost unthinkingly harking back to the true Olympic spirit, before the miasma of commercialism, is a Canadian sort of thing to do.
(Disclaimer: yes, I have a Yank's diminutive direct experience of Canada, but at least when I saw Michael Moore's silly stunt of walking randomly into unlocked front doors in Toronto, I could say, "I recognize those houses! I know that neighborhood!")
kaffyr
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
Well, Canadians have more than their share of faults (a bizarre mixture of inferiority and smug superiority being first on the list, says one who knows), but, yeah.

When I came to the U.S., it took quite some time for me to learn to lock my apartment and car doors. Now, when I go home, I'm sad to see that my mom is doing the same thing.
rmjwell
Feb. 15th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
Dear Canada,

Don't let the Olympics make you suck.

Love,
Me
kaffyr
Feb. 16th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC)
I promise, on behalf of my entire nation. Heh.
minnehaha
Feb. 15th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Do the First Nations have their own teams competing?

K.
kaffyr
Feb. 16th, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
No, they don't, which is a valid point to bring up. So, strictly speaking, they aren't completely independent nations. On the other hand, the election of the head of the First Nations organization is a matter of national interest at the end of each term, and is reported in the national news. First Nation policies also affect the policies of the federal government in at least a small way, which is an evolution that emphasizes their increasing political stature. Boatloads of problems, still; tragic problems. Metric tons (and imperial tonnes) of injustice left. But a qualitatively different take on how to approach the first nations. Then again, Canada is a smaller country in terms of population, with larger discrete First Nation political groupings, so there's more room for us to take those views. In the U.S. the First Nations are more fragmented, perhaps?
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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