Monday, February 19, 2007

I Am

I am currently reading “Timbit Nation” by John Stackhouse and love the tale of one Canadian’s trip across the second largest nation in the world. This book has me thinking about what it means to be a displaced Canadian in the world. i have

When I first meet them, most people assume I’m American. This, I realize, is due in part to the (lack of) accent, the Yankee Hubby, and, not to be underestimated, the rather depressing thought that most people don’t understand that the big pink mass on the map above the US is actually a different and independent nation from the megalomaniacs to their south.

Canadians have a lot of internal problems: they don’t like people from Ontario (aka Upper Canadians), especially those of us from Toronto (Snooty Upper Canadians, thank you), the Quebec issue is always a fun discussion as long as there are no weapons or any bilingual literature in the house. The myriad of problems are too numerous to go into here but there is one thing that unites us from St. John’s to Victoria and everywhere in between: We Are Not American!

That image of “separate but better” is hard to explain to outsiders once we travel abroad; where we immediately begin to describe ourselves as “Canadian” rather than as our ancestry: Irish, Indian, Italian -- whatever it is that makes us special in the mosaic that is Canada. Our instinctual need to apologize to the world stands before us, in with every uplifted sentence we utter, but we stand proud knowing that our great country is one that people love just about everywhere we wander outside of its unprotected borders.

This new-found pride in being Canadian (outside of our borders, that is) becomes especially difficult when you realize the number of non-Canadians who have our lovely red and white flag pinned to their knapsacks: our good name, you see, is being eroded by poseurs. People no longer take at face value your Canadian-ness and will subtly test you until you’ve proven yourself with a “please” or “aboot,” or, better yet, your ability to quote random facts known only to Canadians thanks to Heritage ads on TV. (Burnt toast. Doctor, I smell burnt toast!)

As a Canadian who hasn’t lived within those comfortable borders in almost nine years it is becoming even more difficult to mark me as a Canuck when I walk down the street. But in my heart, where it really counts, I know this:

Hey, I'm not a lumberjack, or a fur trader....
I don't live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled....
and I don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I'm certain they're really really nice.

I have a Prime Minister, not a president.
I speak English and French, not American.
And I pronounce it 'about', not 'a boot'.

I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack.
I believe in peace keeping, not policing,
diversity, not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.
A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch,
and it is pronounced 'zed' not 'zee', 'zed' !!!!

Canada is the second largest landmass!
The first nation of hockey!
and the best part of North America

My name is Typ0!!
And I am Canadian!!


Anonymous said...

No, I'm from the Greatest Place on Texas!! Y'all!!

Anonymous said...

The Maple Leaf Forever!
Even from

Anonymous said...

You're just jealous you don't hail from Wisconsin.

'sconny boy