Oh… Canada!

Canadian flagHey, so it’s my nation’s birthday today. Good on it for making it to… what is it now… 139 years old. After proudly exclaiming to Maggie this morning that it’s Canada Day! (and in turn having to explain that means it’s Canada’s version of National Day), she informed me of the origins of my flag.

Wha… ? Yeah, my foxy little fiance’s been reading up. Technically it was just because there was an article in her recently bought English language magazine, but still… I felt a bit the dullard for not knowing – especially considering the flack I give her for not knowing her own country’s history.

I decided if she knew something about it relating to the colours of some award or something (you can tell I spent the time to read the article, can’t you).. then I was going to research it online and get a crapload more info … blow her info right out of the water. I wasn’t about to have some Chinese wife-to-be, or some Chinese magazine maker tell me about my country… no siree.

To be honest, about five minutes into my quest, I got bored. Canada’s history is just kinda lame. I mean, I know a lot of people (Canadians at least) might object to that … but well, what are they going to do – explain to me how exciting Cabot’s voyage to Newfoundland was? How we kicked the pants off the Americans in 1812? Italian and British people respectively.

What Canada is, more than anything else, is a grand experiment in multi-culturalism. We’re like the US in this regard, but with remarkably better sensibilities about the whole thing. Canada is a country that promotes its patriotism, not as a guise to hide its faults, or as a way to push through political agendas, but as a celebration of this experiment. This is likely why Canadian patriotism is much more subdued. Though proud of all the things it is, I think most Canadians are just as proud of all the things it’s not.

The flag proclaimed in 1965 is a reworking, a restatement, in music we would call it a reprise, of familiar themes which affirm the individuality of Canada. The flag is not a creation so much as it is a recovery of what has been distinctly ours from earliest beginnings. It has been remarked that Canadians are reluctant to proclaim their patriotism, that they cherish reticence as a national virtue. Yet on the three occasions in which action respecting a flag came before Parliament all hell broke loose. – Canada’s Flag, A Search For A Country.

Well, despite it being my country’s birthday and not my own (not for two weeks anyway), I have some celebratory things going on today. The work I’ve put into The Hao Hao Report is getting some notice. Most notably from John over at Sinosplice and Jeremey at Danwei. Thanks a lot for the plugs guys. If you’ve not visited The Hao Hao Report site, please go check it out. Registration is free, but you don’t have to be registered to browse or vote on the stories.
And if you’re someone who runs a blog in China, send me an e-mail or check out the Blogmaster’s Tools (once you’ve logged in) for some ways to get your stories on The Hao Hao Report.

With Friday being technically my last day at school for the summer (damn makeup classes on Monday) and also getting engaged this week, one might think that it just couldn’t get any better… but then there’s this: Transformers Movie.

8 Responses

  1. This has no relevance REALLY to your post, but just wanna let you know that England are playing in approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes from now (9.45am GMT) so I want to hear that you’ve been down to the Tin Whistle, Noah’s Ark… or any other bar showing the game… and support England!

    I’ve still got confidence we’re gonna win the World Cup! (PLEASE DON’T LET ME HAVE JINXED IT!!!!)

  2. Tom, we’re at home, I hate football, but have promised to stay up and watch it and cheer and boo with Rich. Being some kind of a witch, I’ve also put a spell on England to win. It’s taken a lot of concentration, I need another brandy. We’re here in spirit, although not in the tin whislte. xxxx

  3. Ryan, when is your birthday? It’s Rich’s on 17th, and we’re having a party on 16th. Will you still be here? Anyway, happy birthday.

  4. @Tom: I tried man. I spent 10,622 RMB today to fly home in 13 days, so I tried to convince everyone to come up to my end of town… I got resistance. 🙂 I asked Maggie to go with me and watch the game at the local BBQ place, she looked at me with her best “If you beg I’ll go, but I’ll not like it and you’ll know it for both halves. Plus I’ll blame you tomorrow when I’m tired” look… Sorry mate, wasn’t in the cards. And neither was Argentina winning the cup (I was secretly supporting them).

    @Phoebe: Birthday’s on the 16th… and (un)fortunately I’ll be sitting poolside at my mother’s in Canada. As the ONLY laowai in Dalian not to have been to your (paid in cash) home, I’m quite bummed I’m missing the party…

  5. Oh Ryan, happy birthday. Sorry you’ll miss the party, I promise, when you get back we’ll invite you over for a barbie, roast dinner or whatever you fancy.


  6. if you are home for you birthday, i will but you a drink…… don’t hold me to that as i am poor….. but i think i can afford to buy you one beer…. let me know when you are in town

  7. PS – I’ve told you a MILLION times not to exaggerate. In fact, there are presently exactly 3 foreigners in Dalian who have ever been to my (paid in cash) home.

    Good luck for your trip, have a great time.

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