25 February 2013
The Genuine Meaning of Being Canadian
What does it really mean to be Canadian?
People have numerous statements to define themselves "Canadian". Many individuals would recognise themselves as Canadian citizens simply because they were born in Canada. In fact, it is sometimes the occasion that even people from different races may tell you that they are "just" or "100%" Canadian, when you ask their background. On the other hand, it is somewhat important to look at some general stereotypes of Canadians such as living in igloos (Eskimos), hating wars (i.e. peacekeeping), loving hockey, eating at Tim Horton's, wearing fur hats, and having "free" healthcare. Of course, most of these stereotypes are frivolous and fallacious while some others are tolerable merely to extent. Nonetheless, some people in different countries of the world, especially the U.S, apparently choose to think of them as the main characteristics of Canadian people.
When it comes to peacekeeping, most Canadians would think of Lester B. Pearson's actions for Canada, like establishing the United Nation Emergency Force, for solving the Suez Crisis, and the Policy of Bilingualism in Canada. Pearson's eloquent speech illustrates the peacekeeping nature exists in Canadians, particularly when he declares "I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given to participate in that work as a representative of my country, Canada, whose people have, I think, shown their devotion to peace."
I remember the first day I set foot into Canada, on September 24th, 2009. Right after I entered the Lester Pearson International Airport, seeing people from different races had astonished me. Certainly, I did have some information about Canada (e.g. official languages, statistics, etc.), based on what I learned in geography class during elementary years in Iran; even so, I did not imagine Canada...