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.

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

Defining Canadians

Canadians:

“Canadians are citizens of Canada. Canada is a multiethnic society, home to people of many different ethinc and national backgrounds. Aside from the indigenous Aboriginal peoples, who according to the 2006 Canadian Census enmerated 1, 162, 790, 3.8 % of the country’s total population, nearly all Canadians or their ancestors immigrated to Canada within the past five centuries, and the overwhelming majority arrived in 20th century.”

-Wikipedia-

Just the other day I was wondering about who are really Canadians.

According to the definition provided by Wikipedia, everyone who lives in Canada are Canadians. (Is it correct in reality  though?) The First Nations, the Europeans, the Asian immigrants, and man others from different countries can become Canadian.

Furthermore, in my school, my teacher tells me that we are all good Canadians. We are a multicultural society, so it doesn’t matter whether we are dark, white, short, tall, skinny or fat. She said Canadians respect difference.

If this is the case, why some people are not referring themselves Canadians?

Are they ashamed of the brutal history of what the government of Canada had done to the Aboriginals in the past? Are they ashamed that we don’t have a good football team or a soccer team?

They should be proud. We have good reputation all throughout the world and we have excellent hockey teams. We have beautiful mountains and lakes, and we have great people.

After living in Canada for almost a year, I noticed a few things.

First, people categorize themselves in different groups. For example, my friend Andre refers himself as French Canadian. My friend Lulu calls herself CBC, Canadian Born Chinese. My neighbour Maria refers herself Columbian. Tom, my other neighbour is the only person who refers himself a Canadian.

They were all born in Canada and they all have their citizenships issued by the government of Canada.

Going back to the definition of wikipedia, ”Canada is a multiethnic society, home to people of many different ethnic and national backgrounds.”

Then why wouldn’t they refer themselves as Canadians?

It’s my big question now.

Published in: on December 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Education Matters

Choosing a school can be a difficult process for any parent let alone one from another country.

In Canada we believe in providing EVERY child a decent education but how does one choose which school is right for their children?

SIMPLE!

Just view your options below and sleep on it.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

 

2004 prom king and queen

PRIVATE SCHOOLS

The choice is ultimately yours.

Published in: on November 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

What I learn in Canada

Here are some of the topics I learn in my social class:

  • Canadian Heritage
  • Aboriginals
  • Assimilation
  • Mosaic Culture

There are way more than the list I provided here but I will just go over these for now.

I just can’t tell you how shocked I am right now.

I watched the Canadian Heritage Minute (Some people call it a Part of Our Heritage).

Out of so many, I came to learn where the name “Canada” came from, which was really interesting.

I read articles about John Cabot and other explorers, and how they found North America.

I was very excited about what I was learning and I was pleased that these Europeans advanced North America until I read about what they had done to the First Nations.

I was confused.

Canadian people are nice. They accept different cultures so people like me, an immigrant can blend in.

However, what Canada had done to the First Nations in between 1800 to 1900 truly shocked me.

The First Nations were forced to give up their customs and language. I mean… They were forced to. I just can’t imagine how brutal Canada was, but things I learn in class proves how evil Canada was back at then. I read that the residential schools killed 50,000 aboriginal kids. Why did they do this to children?

I like the fact that people are calling Canadian culture a mosaic culture, but now I feel sorry for the First Nations who suffered because they were different than Europeans.

I sort of understand that keeping the tradition and customs is important. My parents say that I shall never forget my first language because it’s part of who I am.

Well, I’m Canadian now so I don’t know if it really matters to keep my old tradition and values.

BUT, forcing someone to be like someone else is bad. My teacher used a word “assimilation”. I thought it was a good meaning but now I have to think about it again. I have to think about how I have felt if I was forced to give up anything I possessed. I wouldn’t feel happy either.

I kind of feel very confused now because I started to discover secrets of Canadian history.

The First Nations… Are they Canadians? or are they not?

Who are Canadians?

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Talking about FOBs

FOB = Fresh Off the Boat

This term refers to immigrants who have not yet assimilated into Canadian culture.

So you might wonder “who are fobs?”

According to my 3 weeks experience at Canadian high school,

 

Fobs wear something like this:

Fobs eat something like this:

 

Fobs like to do things like this:

 

These are just a few tips how you can find FOBs around you.

Not so hard, right?

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 10:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s not that hard to be Canadian

So far, I’m enjoying my life as a CANADIAN.

I made a Caucasian friend named Molly. She’s in my math class and I help her with math questions.

Although I’m not good at math, she expects me to know how to solve every math question. (It’s kind of weird)

Anyways, I decided not to join the FOB club.

I figured out that FOB stands for Fresh Off the Boat.

I was offended but the people in that club didn’t seem to.

They said that it will be really hard to be part of Canadian.

I don’t get what they are saying, and I don’t think I care about what they say.

No matter what, I love Canada. They are accepting me as a new Canadian, and I made a Canadian friend too.

I think if you are in Canada, you should at least try to become a Canadian.

Those kids (FOB Club) refused to become Canadians.

They keep saying they are confused.

Why would you be confused?

Just enjoy your life as a Canadian! DUH!

 

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Canada and its Lesser Known Regions

When you arrive in Canada you will be given an option as to where in Canada you wished to live.  This can be a difficult task for immigrants like yourself considering that Canada is a large and diverse nation with regions spreading from one freezing coast to the next.  Hundreds of cities, towns and hamlets pepper our landscape, providing safe haven for all those who need a place to call home (Unless your a suspected Tamil Tiger then we might have some problems.)

I’ve compiled a selection of five of the best places in Canada to set up shop based on some strict criteria.  Each one is unique in its own way so take your time to peruse all five.

(I’ve compiled them in no particular order except that the best one is at the top.)

1. CALGARY

Now I know what your thinking.  You think Calgary is full of cowboy bars and office buildings and ponds full of toxic ooze that devour more ducks than a Chinese buffet but let me tell you, none of this my friends is true (except for the first two and the third one maybe but I haven’t seen one).

Calgary is WORLD CLASS people!

Need Proof?

Ummm…what about the Olympics we had in 88?!  That was HUGE!  Oh and we had Pandas that year too.  HUGE Pandas!  There’s also the Calgary Stampede SO HUGE IT HURTS TO TYPE IT!

*insert Brokeback comment here*

All these huge things make for a great city!  In fact being huge is kind of important to us.  People around here usually carry huge wallets so naturally you need a big pair of pants to carry that huge ass wallet.  Then of course you’ll need a big truck to haul you around because friend you’ll have to eat tonnes of huge steaks to fill out those huge jeans you just purchased.  Its a snowball effect and it’s also why Calgary is so gosh darn expensive!

2. Vancouver

Vancouver is for lovers.  Lovers of totem poles and homeless people.  Other than that Vancouver is just like any other city in the world.  Vancouver has a sort of mythical quality to it that the youth in Canada find so appealing.  Many young people who consider themselves “trendy” flock to this ocean front metropolis because it symbolizes a place where you can really kick back, relax and let your dreads down.

Vote for Carl in the 2011 Vancouver civic election.

Vancouver dreams of being more, a lot like the population within it.  It wants to be hip like Seattle but it doesn’t have Kurt Cobain.  It wants to be trendy like San Fransisco but its too flat.  All in all its a nice enough place to live for those we consider themselves to cool for school.

3. TORONTO

A city still bitter because it isn’t the capital.

Toronto hasn’t been popular in twenty years.  There are cleaner, prettier, nicer, friendlier, better smelling, more culturally satisfying cities in Canada but Toronto has one thing that keeps the rest of Canada from telling it to shove off.

And that would be its sports teams.

Unless hockey is the only sport that gets your rocks off, we as Canadians are basically stuck cheering for professional sports teams based out of Toronto.  This is unfortunate because Toronto is unofficially cursed regarding sports.  No matter how good your team is or how well they play, teams out of Toronto are not allowed to win championships.  Thems be the rules.

...

Then again I suppose you fine folks will be cheering for teams from your home country so really Toronto wont be a COMPLETE disappointment for you.

4. St. Johns

Oh now here’s a real treat for you all.

St. Johns is a beautiful retreat sitting majestically atop the cliffs over looking the bountiful Atlantic ocean.  For centuries Newfoundlanders or “Newfies” as they’re affectionately called, have lived peacefully along the coast fishing day in and day out so that every day people can take their grannies to Red Lobster any day of the week!

The Newfies also have a great sense of humor.  Observe this hilarious ad one of them has posted on kijiji

$13.25 or best offer

5. Nunavut

If you were enticed by all those stories of igloos and polar bears than this is the place for you.  If you thought Vegas had a nightlife try 24 hours in pitch black tundra!  Did I mention it’s also home to the worlds largest horizontal ski hill?

One of three black diamond runs


Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Becoming a Canadian

It has been a few months since I landed on this land of deers, bears and snow.

I noticed a few things as a new Canadian immigrant.

I was asked to join the FOB club.

No, let me be straight.

I was forced to join the FOB club.

I wondered what FOB meant but no one has yet told me what it is.

I notice though, there are so many people who are like me, the people who are not fluent in English.

I want to make Caucasian friends, but I barely see a mixture of different colours.

I’m really confused now because I heard from people in my home country that Canada is a multicultural society.

I’m wondering if anyone knows what FOB is. If you do, please let me know.

 

I will soon become a proud Canadian too.

I’m just starting to learn about what’s going on and what Canadians are like.

I liked everything but one thing disappointed me.

I thought I would live in an igloo with a Siberian Husky, a bear and a deer.

But I don’t. (tears tears)

Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Letter to the CIC I

Dear Citizenship and Immigration Canada,

I WANT TO BE A CANADIANNNNNN!!!!!!

Should I listen to this song???

or……..listen to this guy with those ‘Canadian Accents’?

Someone please tell me what to do.

Regards,
A fruastrated prospective immigrant

Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 10:42 am  Leave a Comment  

French need not apply

Arriving in Canada you’ve probably heard a number of rumors regarding supposed Canadian culture.  Someone has probably mentioned to you that we live in igloos or… that we own beavers or… that we speak French.  None of these could be further from the truth.

Gather around your old friend Cale and allow me to probe you with my history of the French Canadian.

Bonjour

It all began two thousand years ago with the arrival of  some French sailors, led by Francois Celine and Dominique Dion.

The sailors had become disenchanted with all the smoking and drinking in France and decided to settle down in the beautiful British settlement of New Britain which we all know one day would become the great nation known as Canada.

New Britain was settled by the British who named it New Britain on account of the fact that Britain was already the name of their first country and that the name Zimbabwe had already been taken five years earlier.

Damn it!

ANYWAYS The British, being the gentlemen that they were, allowed the French to stay and live amongst the Canadians for all eternity on two conditions .

1: that they never complain

and 2: that they stop eating their children.


the French had fallen on hard times before arriving in Canada

The French agreed at first but unfortunately they were an unreasonable tribe and they soon became greedy and demanded their own piece of the proverbial Canadian pie.  Seeing as the British were naturally a kind and gentle race they allowed the French to carve out their own chunk of land and call it whatever they wanted.

The French called it “Quebec” or in English “The Land of Many Smells”.

The French were happy for a while but when New Britain became Canada, they demanded more.  One day as the queen’s canoe was dropping her off at parliament  she was confronted by two world famous Frenchmen who’s names escape me.  They approached the queen slowly at first, covering their faces so as not to startle her.

"Pardon moi your majesty...Have you got a minute?"

When they spoke they told her of the many problems the French people were facing.  Besides disease, famine and a lack of musical talent their biggest problem was far worse.  It seemed the French were having a hard time adapting to all the English labels on their groceries.  Children were confusing laundry detergent for boxes of Fruit Loops, women were writing checks with Tide-to-go and husbands went to work with blank DVDs in their lunch boxes.  Chaos swept over the land.

So the queen made a stand.  She made a decree that all groceries in Canada shall have both English and French labels!!

And the people were happy.

And that my friends is how the French myth came to be.   So next time you see all those weird hieroglyphics at your local grocery store remember one thing;

It’s not raisin flavored soda it’s just French for grape!

your friend,

Cale

Published in: on November 9, 2010 at 6:27 pm  Leave a Comment