Marja-Leena Rathje
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It's Canada Day today. Our Queen is in Ottawa this year to celebrate our country's 143rd birthday and give us the gift of a special rock.

Below are a couple of other articles Canadians and non-Canadians might enjoy. We Canadians are rather noted for being modest while being quietly proud of our country, so I don't really like this bragging tone nor a "branding" of Canada, even if said a little tongue-in-cheek. What do you think?

A new national angst: Getting used to bragging rights

What is Canada's brand?

Marja-Leena | 01/07/2010 | 17 comments
themes: Canada and BC, Culture


Those currants look so good. We can't grow them here.

Hattie, yes, the red and black currants thrive in northern climates. I remember every garden in Finland had them.

Happy Canada Day, though it's almost over. Hope the fireworks over English Bay are spectacular! I remember them as being so....

Maria, thanks, I'm sure the fireworks are marvelous, though we've been having a very lazy day at home...

Hope you had a happy Canada Day! I really enjoyed the articles. Ps. Canadian red is beautiful!

This is all very strange. Canada Day - but then isn't every day Canada Day? Of course we have similar so-called celebrations such as St George's Day but only crapulous soccer fans acknowledge it. And then there's this reference to the queen which I find eerie. Does she really carry the slightest significance to Canadians, especially the Québecois? My tiny experience of the country recalls modernity, good-natured people (even in the cities) bien dans sa peau - not a place bogged down by manufactured tradition. But then what do I know? An old world smart-aleck three thousand miles away. It's just that I believe Canada deserves to be independent.

Happy Canada Day, Marja-Leena! I read the linked article with great interest. When I lived abroad in the late 80's/early 90's, in Japan, I noted the maple leaf patch on jackets and backpacks. And I wondered why the phrase, "we're not Americans," was used more often than, "we're Canadians." It was especially interesting because the Japanese are known as reserved and even meek; however, in my experience, they were normally not shy about announcing, "we are Japanese!" Perhaps it was connected to their strong economy in the late 80's.

Marja-Leena, do you mean that the currants are ripe NOW? I forgot how much more south you live than us. What's the latitude of Vancouver B.C.?

Leena, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the articles. I was thinking of my Finnish readers amongst others outside Canada.

BB, but doesn't England have a birthday, a day off to have parades and fireworks to celebrate its founding? US has July 4th, Finland has Dec. 6th. And yes, I agree it's long overdue that Canada be free of the 'Commonwealth' and the British monarchy, even if the Queen is a nice lady. There are a lot of Brits living in Canada who are loyal but it's an issue with Quebec for sure. (Haven't we had this conversation before?)

R, yes, so many Canadian travellers would make sure that they were identified as 'not American', finding they were sometimes treated better! Interesting story about the Japanese, thank you!

Ripsa, my red currants are only just starting to ripen little by little with our cool spring. I've had them earlier some years. We are at latitude 49th, quite a bit farther south than Finland, also with a milder west coast climate than anywhere in Canada. I think my mother's red currants in Winnipeg didn't ripen until end of July or so.

Happy Canada Day a day late. The interesting thing about the history celebrated there is that the very diverse east and west coasts were linked. Agreeing to respect one another's differences while continuing to talk is surely something to be proud of.

Susan, yes, Canada started with just a few eastern provinces, gradually adding more. Newfoundland came last, and the territory of Nunavut quite recently. I can just imagine this is all the more interesting again since you will be returning to Canada soon!

No doubt we have had this conversation before but when it itches, I scratch. England wasn't "founded" to my knowledge and the only national celebration that draws the majority of the population together is November 5. Then, in 1605, a group attempted to blow up parliament. They were foiled. Four hundred-plus years later we celebrate this with Fireworks Night and if anyone letting off a rocket thinks about the roots of this event they tend to find themselves supporting the Guy Fawkes plotsters. Perhaps I'm not surprised that Canadians hang on to "the nice lady" because decency pervades the country. What is more astonishing is that Australians, our sworn enemies after the Irish, the Scots, the French, etc, etc, still stick with this flummery although at their last referendum the question was so worded as to present them with a hideous alternative which they were forced to reject. When the time comes for a Canadian referendum the question should be phrased: "Do Canadians want to belong to an organisation that once had Robert Mugabe as a member?"

BB, so it was as I suspected, even with thoughts of the Magna Carta and all, England has no 'birthday' or whatever countries like to call it. It's just always been there ruled by various invading tribes that have melted together to make today's English. Guy Fawkes Day doesn't quite measure up the same to me.

It's strange, isn't it, that the commonwealth countries can't seem to give up that last tie to the 'old country' even when it costs a lot to entertain the visiting royals? I still believe it's the British born Canadians, Aussies, Zealanders etc that hang onto it. India shook it off. Even our province is called "British" Columbia despite voices for change for it makes us sound like a British colony! I'll have to remember your last line if we ever have a referendum! If we ever do become fully independent, I hope we won't become an 'enemy' :-)

In my long-ago youth, many Canadians came to California, because poverty was widespread after the War. They loved the Queen, at any rate the English-speaking ones did. They had all those kitsch memorabilia and so on.
A lot of Americans like the royal family, I guess because they don't have to pay for them. I think they have more power than we think, and I don't like them or trust them. I think their credibility was at its height after WWII and has been steadily diminishing. It's hard to consign such an old and well documented family to the dustbin of history, but maybe the time has come.

Hattie, I've read many comments that once the Queen is gone, then there will be change and Charles would never be king. We'll see, traditions seem to be so hard to give up.

Some of you might enjoy this article about why we love the queen.