When I first visited Vancouver back in June and attended a baseball game I mulled over the singing of the national anthem O Canada before the game started. The same format happens at CFL and hockey games as well and what struck me was how proud folks are to be Canadian, it means something special to them.
Back to the CFL game. I’m not sure if this is a regular occurrence or just a Remembrance Day special, but the flag displayed on the pitch before the game was as large as the national pride.
It then clicked with me as to why securing employment was difficult for professional immigrants. No matter what I have to offer, no matter how good I may be, I’m not Canadian and therefore I can’t do ‘it’ as well.
Come half time this was more than reinforced. I guess people in the UK can tend to forget about the contribution made by other countries in conflicts past and present. UK national news understandably focuses on the UK’s commitment and each Remembrance Day some folks will pause to reflect on what the armed forces have given to secure the freedom we enjoy. However, I’m not so sure that we in the UK remember with quite so much pride as the Canadians. The massed bands, pipes, drums, representatives from many conflicts marched on to the pitch to a standing ovation. I haven’t witnessed anything quite as grand since the days of the Royal Tournament in London which came to an end after 120 years in 1999. Maybe as a country the UK was having a collective hand wringing session at that time, wishing to move on and forget the past (although the wiki entry cites Labour cost cutting as the reason). Whatever the reason it seems that true nationalism in England has been consigned to the history books along with the Royal Tournament. However, nationalism is alive and well in Canada and I’m okay with that.
Proudly Canadian A short, grainy video of my experience.