8. This land is our land. Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia. It’s big! You can drive from one side to the other in about a week if you floor it and don’t mind putting almost 8,000 clicks on your car. But size helps with other things, too. If you live in a city, it’s easy to get away and go camping for a day. If you pee your pants at school, it’s easy to skip town and change your identity.
9. 2 Languages, 2 Distinct Cultures, 2 Legit 2 Quit. Hey, hey! The province of Quebec makes all Canadians richer with French culture smeared coast to coast. There are two official languages, so French classes broaden minds while Cirque du Soleil, French films and delicious foods keep adding to the Canadian identity.
10. It’s full of Canadians. Sure, we’ve got lots of faults like apologizing too much and beating each other senseless in hockey. (Sorry about that.) But Canadians are some of the most peaceful, progressive and cultured people in the world, if we do say so ourselves. Shaped by waves of new folks (40 per cent of Canadians are first- or second-generation immigrants) the community is inclusive, funny and polite. Also, Canadians are extremely humble, rarely extolling their virtues in long, meandering essays published online. (Sorry about that.)
So … after my dad parked the wood-panelled wagon in the driveway, Nina and I headed inside to hang up the calendar on the yellow kitchen wall. It was hidden behind December for a month but soon we’d slowly scroll through polar bears on frozen lakes and setting suns over silos and hay bales. We gazed fondly on those pictures and dreamed of distant trips to far off places… and of course, like any country, like your home country, it’s only with exploring that we really truly see all the beauty that makes our home AWESOME!
118. People around the world love us
“The best thing about being a Canadian abroad is that everyone seems to love Canada. As an English-speaker in Israel I’m often mistaken for an American, but when I declare my true nationality people inevitably reply, ‘That’s amazing! I love Canadians!’ But the world’s appreciation for Canada goes beyond mere affection. Along with countless global surveys ranking Canada as the world’s most admired country, a poll conducted in 2010 found that even among the world’s 24 leading economies, a majority (53 per cent) don’t just admire Canada: they actually want to be Canadian.
As we celebrate Canada Day, it’s worth asking: Why? Is it because we’re so nice and polite? Because we enjoy the good things in life, from clean drinking water and health care to education and two-car garages? Because we value freedom and diversity, and bring light to an often dark and violent world? Or is it something simpler, like the taste of poutine or maple syrup?
I don’t know the answer, but I do know this: We Canadians are the luckiest people on Earth, and we should thank whatever combination of history, providence and sacrifice conspired to grant us a great life. And while we’re at it, let’s work hard to deserve it. – Dov Smith, spokesperson, Hebrew University in Jerusalem
“I love that when you say you are from Canada people throughout Asia smile. We are seen as honest, humble and trustworthy people. Everyone I meet wants to visit Canada because of our people and our country, which is seen as open, clean, beautiful, diverse and refreshing. Being Canadian and everything it entails gives us an advantage as an employer, as a partner and as a provider of financial security for our clients and their families.” – Kevin Strain, president, Sun Life Financial Asia
119. Stereotypes about us are usually right – and worth being proud of
“For those of us of a certain age, the most palpable Canadian memories are of sitting in front of the screen on Saturday night watching grainy TV pictures brought to life by Foster (and then, Bill) Hewitt’s dramatic commentary and analyzed ad infinitum by the denizens of the Hot Stove League.
In an age of political correctness, one is admonished to avoid any stereotypes, even positive ones. But, like our love of hockey, the willingness of Canadians to tolerate differences and accommodate others is undeniable.
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