I am Canadian, and I am proud of it. I love this country. Growing up, I took it for granted. I never thought much about it. Canada was simply the country where I lived. Until it wasn’t anymore.
Living in China, Macedonia, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, and travelling to many other countries, gave me a new perspective and a new appreciation for Canada. While I enjoyed some things about each country I lived in or visited, I came to see that Canada simply offers more of the things that I value in the world. I also came to realize that I owe Canada for many of the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have in this life. As a student, Canada is one of the best places to study. As a woman, Canada is one of the freest and most equal places to live. As a person, Canada is one of the safest places to make a home.
To celebrate Canada today and to show my appreciation, here are some of the things I love best about this gorgeous country. I put them in alphabetical order because I found it impossible to rank them in order. I value all of these aspects of Canada so much that I couldn’t decide which I value most.
Without doubt, Canada is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We have lakes, rivers and seas. We have mountains, valleys and plains. We are blessed with wild flowers and wild animals. We have the ever-changing beauty of the seasons. I adore the deep greens of summer and the oranges, yellows and reds of autumn. For gorgeous scenery, no other country can beat the range and vibrancy of what Canada has to offer.
Living abroad taught me that what we consider “common courtesy” is not so common in other places. In general Canadians are warmer, friendlier and more courteous than people in many other places. Most people hold doors. They say hello and please and thank-you. They wait their turns in line. This civility creates a relaxed and pleasant environment that you don’t find everywhere. It’s also what Canadians are appreciated for around the world.
Many places in the world claim to be multicultural, but they are only so in the respect that many cultures live there. They lack the most important aspect: the intermingling of cultures. Canada is truly multicultural. Here, each culture brings its own flavour to the table but always with a desire to share it with others. This makes everyone feel at home, an atmosphere noticeably absent from life in a place where cultures don’t mix.
Canada has a reputation as a peaceful nation. It is one of the reasons our country is highly respected abroad. It is also one of the best aspects of life here. We rarely have to think about the possibility of a foreign invasion so that we can focus our daily time and energy on other things, and our government can spend more time and money on non-military pursuits. I am proud of Canada’s reputation for peace and thankful for the sense of security I have always been able to enjoy here.
Canada has an abundance of space—to move, to drive, to walk, to play in the park, to view the beautiful blue sky, to breathe fresh air. We don’t realize how important space is because we have so much of it. Having lived in crowded countries for a long time, I delight in the vast openness around me every day now—just because it’s there.
- The Arts
Canadians who cherish the arts have many choices—theatre, dance, the opera, the symphony, galleries, concerts; the list is long and of stunning quality. Canadian artists excel in many fields and have earned high-class reputations. Part of this comes from government support of the arts, which many countries are not lucky enough to have. The artist community in Canada adds another aspect to the beauty anyone can find here.
I could go on, but the list of great things about Canada is very long. Every Canadian I am sure has their own ideas about what makes this country great. Canadians may not always be as outwardly patriotic as the Americans, for example, but I don’t believe we love our country any less.
Today, on Canada’s birthday, I shout out my pride in this country. I say, “Thank you, Canada. I owe you so much!”
Happy Canada Day!