Monday, 19 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving US of Eh?

Here in Canada, we've already celebrated our version of Thanksgiving, earlier in the month, while this week our neighbours to the south celebrate what we often refer to as ‘American Thanksgiving.’

Tourists from other continents coming to Canada and the States may not be able to see the differences between our two nations. We’re so similar, and also so very different – but most of our differences are ideological instead of cultural.

American’s have an enormous sense of passion and national pride in being American. Even most of those from other lands that become permanent residents fall in love with American nationalism.

In Canada, we have pride in our nation – if your parents were born here. Those from other lands talk about the benefits of living here, but always complain about how they miss home, and are just here so their families can have a better life. Often they move into pockets where others from their homeland settled, so they don’t have to participate in Canadian culture, society, or – sadly – with anyone that doesn't speak their language.

When people immigrate to the United States, they become Americans. They pledge allegiance to the flag, and swear they’ll uphold the values and laws of the land.
When people immigrate to Canada, they become hyphenated Canadians, many don’t speak either of our official languages (English or French) and although they live according to our laws, they certainly don’t embrace Canadian values, preferring to continue living as they would in their homeland.

When parents with kids come to America, they enrol their kids in American schools, and hope their children will realize the potential of the American Dream.

When parents with kids come to Canada, they intentionally move into areas where there are schools with other children from their culture. In many cases, they have special schools which are cultural-specific to their homeland, so their kids although living in Canada, are raised with the same values and beliefs back home.

Settled immigrants in the States that have made it for themselves, embrace the American Dream, and feel a sense of obligatory pride in helping other American’s realize that dream, hiring other American’s regardless of race or culture to expand and grow the American economy.

Settled immigrants in Canada lack a sense in being Canadian, and having only done business with others from their homeland, they only hire others of the same race or culture of themselves.
They take away jobs and opportunities for those who were born outside of their culture, which although it may grow their business, it harms the Canadian economy, and eventually may harm their business, which is in that Canadian economy.

Canada and the States are both highly prosperous, safe, democracies which both have a lot to be thankful for during our mutual Thanksgivings.

Though, being Canadian, sometimes I’m envious of my American neighbours  as it appears they have more to be thankful for going forward, because as more people come from other lands to our distinct countries, America grows as a nation, while we Canadians struggle to maintain a sense of nationhood.

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