Sunday, June 24, 2012

All About Canada Day - Guest Post by Little Waterlily in a Big Pond

Hello Artsy Anthropology readers.  If you've been around for awhile you may recognize me.  This isn't the first time Paige has let me take over part of her little piece of the internet.  I'm Leigh-Ellen and I blog at Little Waterlily in a Big Pond. I'm a Canadian who has lived in a variety of fun and exciting places but now reside in Quispamsis, NB on the east coast of Canada.  Sounds like a happening place doesn't it??

Excitement in Quispamsis New Brunswick
Right now most Canadians are counting down to a very exciting day in early July.  I'm sure you are too.  That's right it's CANADA DAY!  Hmmm... I don't think most of you said that with me.  Everyone together now CANADA DAY!  July 1st is Canada Day which is a lot like the Fourth of July but with just red and white... no blue. Also we have a maple leaf rather than stars and our anthem has a distinct lack of bombs bursting in air.

Plus Canada wasn't born after any sort of large scale conflict.  We kind of asked nicely and the British were kind of in the mood.  Plus we agreed to keep the monarch on the money when we got around to having our own. Jokes on them that the other side have funny looking animals like beavers and moose and loons.  Seriously.  Moose are funny looking.  The most noble looking animal we have on our coins is the polar bear so to offset that we called the coin a "twoonie".

Some of you might quite rightly be expecting some sort of Canada Day themed tutorial now, but that would be silly for two reasons 1. I have absolutely no idea how to make anything Canada Related. Seriously, try drawing a maple leaf. It's a pain.  2. What are you going to do with Canada Day items? Really? Instead I'm going to teach you some Canadian history.....

There about 5 people still reading this and at least two of them are probably related to me.  Thanks for sticking around.  So Canadians have this funny tendency to not be overly interested in Canadian History and some people back in the 80s decided this was a problem.  So they figured out the only way to get Canadians to learn about their history was to limit it to one minute at a time and stick it on television.  This also helped the CBC out with some of their Canadian Content issues.  Since Canadians tend to suffer from an inferiority complex many of these commercials made our founding fathers look a bit stupid.  Such as how Canada got it's name:

There were also the minutes that highlighted Canada's unfortunate treatment of various minority groups such as the Chinese immigrants who came to help build the railway.

Or (one of my favourites) Women's Rights in which women only got any rights because of the British Supreme Court. This was part of a series including how women in Canada had to fight for the vote and the right to attend medical school.  Basically we sucked on gender equality.

Obviously there were also numerous videos about Canadian accomplishments... these are hilarious to watch when celebrating Canada Day abroad.  We once had a group of Aussies watching them with the sound off trying to guess what Canadians had invented next... Trees! Paint! Canoes! For you see a Canadian invented basketbal (I need those peach baskets back) and Superman and Standard Time (why we change the clocks in Spring and Fall). For most of my generation this was how we formed our images of Canadian history and to this day if you mention smelling something burning Canadians of my generation will quite gleefully announce "Doctor, Doctor I smell burnt toast!"

Now you're all a little more Canadian! So on Sunday July 1st eat a beaver tail and some poutine before dawning a toque and heading out to whippersnipper! Or just stop over at my blog and say hi. 

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