Canadian Nationalism

Nationalism.

I don’t think I really had a trouble of defining what nationalism is until I came to Canada.

Because I thought nationalism is something that everyone innate.

I remeber the first thing I did in art class in Gr.1. I was to draw and paint Korean flag. My teacher put the flag on the projector screen, and we were expected to copy it on our sketchbooks.

When I was in Gr.3, the 2002 FIFA World Cup was held in the city I lived. I was not an avid fan of soccer, but because everyone else was crazy for it, I also fell in love with soccer very quickly. I soon memorized the names of the players in South Korean team and recognized their faces when they were on TV. Only after a few days, the entire country became soccer fans and we cheered for the South Korean team. When the South Korean team played, we didn’t have to go to school and my parents didn’t have to go work. When the South Korean team won, bears and chiken wings were given out free for all Koreans. In this year, for the first time in history, the South Korean team made it to the semi-finals.

The red dots are South Korean people. They came out to cheer for the South Korea National Soccer Team all throughout June of 2002.

The stadium was filled with South Korean fans. They had the Korean flag up to show their strong nationalism

Reflecting back on the past memories, I think the sense of nationalism in Korea is stronger than probably any other countries in the world. However, I don’t see this sense of nationalism in Canada.

The 2010 Vancouver Olympic was held in the beginning of this year. It was a big event. I mean a big big big event compared to the FIFA World Cup. But, my friends were busy studying for math unit tests, and some others cheered for different countries.  My friend Bob cheered for Dutch national teams, my friend Mayu cheered for Japanese national teams, and my family cheered for the Korean national teams. I’m not criticizing them for cheering for the teams they like, but I’m questioning why these people don’t cheer for the Canadian national teams passionately enough.

A mixture of Canadian fans and Dutch fans cheer for a Canadian National Team.

Then where does the concept of nationalism come from? Just like I stated in the beginning, I thought it was something everyone innate. However, I now think that the sense of nationalism comes from identity. I wondered about what Canadian identity is for the first 6 months in Canada. Although the answer to this question is as clear as mud, I think I know one thing for sure.

The sense of Canadian nationalism can only be created when Canadians acknowledge what Canadian identity is.

 Because Canada itself can’t really define Canadian identity and who are Canadians in reality, the sense of strong nationalism is not yet created.

But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Because it gives each person in Canada an opportunity to choose whether they want to call themselves a Canadian or something else.

That’s probably why my friends chose to refer themselves as Canadian Born Chinese, Columbian, Dutch and French Canadian.

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Published in: on December 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

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