high school life

Missing Canada

Without an NHL team in town and little natural climatic inclination towards it, hockey rarely comes on TV around here. So when I arrived home to see my sister watching the Stanley Cup finals between the Ducks and Senators, I tuned in.
Honestly, hockey never overtook baseball as my favorite sport. In the 9 years I lived in Canada, I never once attended a live hockey game, and I probably watched fewer games on TV than the number of times I’ve been thankful for having Holycross as a teacher. Even so, the sport has grown on me. Maybe the sport truly is in my blood. Or maybe some part of me is trying too hard to be more Canadian than I am.
For the game itself, the skill of the players shocked me. I had never realized the players’ skating ability, or the dexterity and game sense to work their sticks.
But that wasn’t the cool part about watching the game. Set at Scotiabank Place (wiki-assist), the boards were filled with advertisements for Canadian companies, which my sister and I nostalgically pointed out during the game.
In many ways, Canada isn’t so different from the US. Most of western culture can be considered one, except for low-quality Canadian TV. And for all of the claimed differences, it’s not major shock to move between the two countries.
Regardless, I felt comforted looking at the Canadian ads and thinking about all that. It feels like home. When it comes to home, the details matter. Safeway or Loblaws? Krispy Kreme or Tim Hortons? Zellers or Target? Home isn’t where the heart is; home is where the past is.

3 replies on “Missing Canada”

You gotta keep the Canadian spirit alive, no matter if you have to coax yourself to be more Canadian, or else you become an…American =(

Low quality television? I think that there’s a mistake in looking at slick, big budget productions, and assuming that that’s the way media is supposed to be done. There are shows that can’t be made by the mainstream media in the United States, that are made in Canada. I blogged about Dragon Boys in January of this year. Another example is “Little Mosque on the Prairie”.

In addition, thinking that there aren’t cultural differences between the United States and Canada can get you into trouble. This is similar as to thinking that Quebecois are like the French, or that mainland Chinese are like the Taiwanese. Your behaviour is noticed. (I’ve been in many business meetings where the Canadians make jokes about American behaviour when the Americans aren’t there … that speaks to differences that don’t get crossed).

When you’ve studied/worked in the United States longer than you’ve studied/worked in Canada, you really can’t consider yourself Canadian any more. The suggestion that Americans aren’t different from Canadians is something that an American would say, not a Canadian.

I agree. I was actually about to post a note on facebook about all the differences up here. Actually, I might as well do that and save myself the trouble of ranting twice.
Beyond that, I would like to say that I have never been to Tim Hortons. Or Zellers. I’ve been to the Bay though. 🙂

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