Today is Canada Day and my “home and native land” is officially 145 years old–a youngster as far as nations go, eh? I hope you will indulge me as I dedicate today’s blog to the land of beavers, maple trees, and hockey pucks.
We Canadians know what the rest of the world thinks of us–mostly thanks to the way we are depicted in American television shows. According to these depictions, we use monopoly money, drink a lot of beer, apologize constantly, and end every sentence with “eh.” We’re not offended by these portrayals. In fact, we are renowned for our great sense of humours–and spelling “humour” with a “u”, by the way. Only in Canada, would you find currency named Loonies and Toonies. One of our biggest exports to our southern neighbour is comedians. And there is an art to using “eh” correctly–and only we “Canucks” seem to have this gift.
Although it is very un-Canadian to brag, I must apologize and ask for you to humour (again with the “u”) me as I share a few Canadian facts:
-Canada is the second largest nation in the world. But our population density is very low at 3.7 people per square kilometre. Yes, we operate in metric. This may explain why our American neighbours think we live in igloos and commute to work via sled dog. When our weather forecasts say it is 32 degreesin July, this does not equate to your 32 degrees–the temperature at which water freezes. It actually means we are enjoying a balmy 90 degrees. Yes, it does get hot here. We own barbecues, swimming pools, and bikinis–not just toques, parkas, and mukluks.
-We are home to the longest coastline in the world, the world’s highest tide, and the largest island in a freshwater lake. In Canada, we do things big. Just look at those fuzzy Mountie hats. How much guarding can these guys do when they’ve got hat fur in their eyes? This must have been our Queen’s idea (yes, we are part of the British Commonwealth and, on occasion, sing “God Save the Queen”)–have you seen her hats?
-We ranked 5th on the World Happiness Report–massive beer consumption and several pucks to the head will do that.
-And only 40% of us have a favourable opinion of Don Cherry. It’s gotta be the clothes. I’d be crusty if I had a starchy collar that went up to my ears.
-We have two official languages, although the province of Quebec only recognizes one.
-54% of our nation is made up of forests and woodlands. Yes, we have lots of lumber. And moose. And bears. And maple syrup. Yum.
This is what our flag looks like. We have beavers on our nickels, but our Parliament has actually considered removing the giant rodent from this coin. Apparently, it is not considered a “noble” creature. I, personally, am fond of our buck-toothed little friend.
And Canadians can be found everywhere–on your movie screens, your TV sets, and your concert stages. Here is a sampling of famous Canadians:
Keanu Reeves, Howie Mandel, Pamela Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Jim Carrey, Avril Lavigne, Neve Campbell, John Candy, Justin Bieber, Nelly Furtado, Seth Rogen, Willima Shatner, Shania Twain, Alan Thicke, Donald Sutherland, Alanis Morissette, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Jill Hennessy, Phil Hartman, Paul Anka, Kim Cattrall, Nathan Fillion, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Marty Hall, Sarah Chalke, Kiefer Sutherland, Peter Jennings, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Catherine O’Hara.
Photos: Mounties (Wayne Cuddington, The Ottawa Citizen), Don Cherry (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images),