I was selling my crafts at the Nanaimo Farmer's Market Day on the 1st, which for US or other readers is, I suppose, our version of the 4th of July.
Canadians indulge in many of the same activities as our southern neighbors; we barbeque, take the kids to whatever free public displays are happening, and on this one day, we go to extremes with our symbolism-our Maple Leaf flag flying everywhere, in every conceivable shape, size and configuration, from banners to really silly hats, all in the name of love of country, but something else too.
Canada is a land of First Nations, native-borns, and many, many immigrants. I am one of the later, though not 'visibly' so except by First Nations people, who rightly aver that the 'rest' of us are all from somewhere else, except for their people. We who are immigrants feel a special affection for our nation of choice, but it doesn't manifest itself in the same way as other non-Canadian displays of patriotism; I would argue that as patriotism is defined in many other countries, we have none; what we have instead, is affection, gratitude, and a real desire to culturally stay ourselves, and not get swallowed up in the global push for conformity.
On the news yesterday, a recently sworn-in new citizen of this country spoke of his happiness in being here, and made a telling statement that, in my mind, sums up our identity-"Canada is a country that is respected all over the world".
And so we ask ourselves, is it better to be respected or to be feared? I know my answer.