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Patriotism: Embracing Banality

Joined: 7/30/2013
Posts: 1
Canadians always talk about Canada Day like it’s exciting. Unlike the Fourth of July, Canada Day is not the nation coming together filled with pride and love. Maybe it's because we're still technically a Dominion and have ties to England. I don't know why, but Canada seems to screw everything exciting up.

But maybe it's good that Canada Day is so lame. It seems that the most pride-filled country, the USA, is the one with the most first-world problems. The Fourth to Americans is like a pony from a parent who is never home: a diversion from the true problem. People ooh and aah at the parades that their towns hold, come together with friends and families for barbecues and wear their country's colours proudly. The rich, the poor, the blacks, the whites—everyone does it. It's a day for ALL Americans (no matter how un-American the rest of America thinks you are the rest of the 364 days of the year).

Last year's Canada Day, I was at Northwestern at a summer journalism program. My mostly American colleagues tried very hard to make sure that I had a festive Canada Day, despite being outside the country itself. They presented maple syrup to me and I heard more “Happy Canada Day” cries than I ever had heard any Canada Day I had actually been in Canada. It was so kind of them to try to make me feel at home, but it was the opposite of a true Canada Day that consisted of some fireworks and a newscaster wishing me a “Happy Canada Day!”

Though Canada Day is more boring than the Fourth, at least it doesn't put up a front. For the other 364 days of the year, Canadians are just as inclusive or exclusive as they are on Canada Day. We don't reach out to people we don't like just because it's Canada Day. Of course, we aren't generally as exclusive as Americans; hell, in Toronto, the Pride Parade happens Canada Day weekend and takes centre stage. (Except for Mayor Ford, who refuses to show at the Pride Parade because he just must go to his cottage for Canada Day as it is “Family Tradition.”)

The dullness of Canada Day is good for us Canadians. We don't have any daddy issues that we forget about for one day by compensating for the rest. We are proud to be a boring country because boring politics and festivities means that we don't have as many problems. Though I often have this desire to jump upon a float at a Fourth of July parade, I like that Canadians become more united over Tim Hortons or Sidney Crosby's game-winning goal in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Screw the Americans! we have lives to attend to—not lavish parades and obesity-inducing corn dogs.
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