Happy 151st Birthday Canada

I am grateful and proud of being Canadian and for living in the UK. Might sound like a dichotomy or paradox.

Canada is a great country and well respected around the world. It provides and offers so much to its citizens and residents. On July 1st it celebrated 151 years!! Living in the UK makes July 1st just another summer’s day (except if I were at Trafalgar Square with the other Canadians) although I am purposefully wearing my Canadian t-shirt.

I overheard a fellow Canadian in the coffee shop where I’m typing this and as she left I wished her a Happy Canada Day. She came over and said that deserved a hug and without waiting for a response she embraced me. She talked enthusiastically about waving her Canada flag in her flatmates’ faces this morning (they had been sitting with her) and of her angst about leaving the UK in August when her visa expires. The mixed emotions of an expat.

And I am an immigrant, a foreigner here in London (that’s England for the Ontarians). This fact allows me to celebrate and remember my birth country almost every day. There is rarely a day in my life here that someone doesn’t ask me about Canada or being Canadian. Their question, which is usually ‘where is your accent from?’ invites a dialogue about Canada – its beauty, its opportunity, its friendliness, its Prime Minister (only since Trudeau got elected, before that no one knew the PM) and its uniqueness. And I get to talk about it. This wouldn’t happen if I was still living there, maybe I’d take Canada for granted more living there? I’m glad I don’t.

What do you have to celebrate about your country of origin or choice?