Oh Canada! Happy Birthday :)
O Canada! These are the first two words of Canada‘s national anthem. I have to say that every time I have heard these words I get goosebumps. Particularly when I am traveling in other countries. [Note to self- check before posting - I was missing a few sentences in this paragraph!]
Having lived here for over a decade now, I would say that I live a pretty Canadian life. Many people would ask “what is a Canadian life”. The way I have defined it is perhaps not very scientific and maybe a bit biased. But that is how I see my life now. Most of my closest friends are Canadian (either born, raised or educated in Canada). I owe to this country many things, amongst them education, good friends, fairly good health care (at least eye care), an open and friendly environment to live in. The list could go on.
Other friends of mine have blogged about the values of Canada (such as a universal health system, an immigration-friendly atmosphere, multiculturalism), so I won’t really go into that. I have also read some analysts speaking about the country as though they know it inside-out (which really bothers me because they don’t live here and know very little about the realities of day-to-day life in Canada). But this is not the place to criticize their work.
I think that, out of the things that I am grateful to Canada for, one of the most important is the friends I have made here. Notwithstanding my deep love for my friends who are not Canada-based, I have made a life for myself here and been welcome with open arms by many Canadians. Even some non-Canadian life-long friends, I’ve met them here! Thus, it is just appropriate that I say I’m quite thankful.
So, happy birthday Canada, eh?