15 years ago, I stepped onto Canadian soil for the very first time. Today I celebrate with 36 million Canadians the 150th birthday of Canada’s independence. Since then, I am grateful to have a country that everyday paves my future and allows me to be whoever I want to be. It is far more special than a home.
When someone tells you Canada, what do you think about? Some of you will say, “That’s my home”. Others will think more geographically and say, “The country above the United States”, or “A country in North America”. Some other responses may also include free health care or some major global initiative that Canada did. But what is Canada? As a Canadian, I try to answer this question.
July 1st, 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday. 150 years ago, the country that homes almost 36 million became independent. As all 36 million celebrate this feat, I think that we are all extremely grateful and lucky to immigrate to this amazing land. The opportunities that were created since the time you stepped onto the soil are endless without any bounds. You can be whoever you want to be and the majority of Canadians will accept that and invite you into their community. You will never feel vulnerable or lost because Canada is one of the most diverse countries in the world, your race and ethnic background will be present somewhere in Canada. When someone asks me, what is the most amazing thing about Canada, my response would be, “The people”. Why, well the generosity, acceptance and outpouring of love and affection define this country and we are all one large community.
As I listen to radio talk shows and watch TV programs which summarizes the outstanding achievements that Canadians managed to accomplish in the last 150 years, I am amazed by the ambition and drive that they had in them to complete these tasks. One such figure, Terry Fox inspired millions of people all around the world. Many look up to him as a role model when they battle diseases and everyday problems. From basketball to the Canada Arm, Canadians have achieved a lot together and I am inspired every day by them to have a positive impact on the world, no matter how small the impact is.
One TV documentary, ‘Canada in a Day’, asked regular Canadians four simple questions: “What do you fear.” “What do you love.” What do you hope for,” and “What does Canada mean to you.” Two of those questions are probably been answered, so let me respond to, “What do I fear.” I can be all cliché and say terrorism or war. And yes I do fear these disturbing topics which nobody wants to think about, but I think the question is pertaining to the next 150 years. Terrorism is a major threat, don’t get me wrong but I am hopeful that in the near future, this threat will be defeated. One major topic which I fear the most, which is related to my post on The year 2100, is climate change. This is a situation that I think will impact the next 150 years and it will change the way we look at this beautiful country. Not only will it make the second largest country in the world less breathtaking, it will prevent us from living on this planet, let alone your country. Globalization and the lack of togetherness make up my top three fears that I have for both Canada and the world. “What I hope for,” well, I hope that we can obviously fight global warming as a society. I hope that terrorism and other forms of violence do not influence our treatment to other human beings that have different skin tones and ethnic backgrounds.
There are so many other extraordinary factors which I think defines who we are to the rest of the world. Without the free health care, I would have spent thousands on treatments and scans. The generosity and politeness that Canadians have to each other make us stand out on the world stage. Igloos, hockey, the maple leaf, maple syrup, and many more icons represent the peace-loving nation.
Another common theme that I heard a lot of talk shows were looking ahead for the next 150 years. How different will Canada be in 2167? Do we want to start from year 0 today or continue the storied history that Canadians built since 1867? There are some situations where I think we should start from year 0 such as the treatment towards the First Nations people. But some topics like innovation and health care should continue expanding as Canada becomes a leading force on the planet. 50 years from now, I will probably write another post (if I still have this blog) about what it means for me to be a Canadian in 2067. Hopefully, the majority of the values still hold and I can be a prouder Canadian citizen.
If you are a Canadian reading this blog post, comment on what it means for you to be a Canadian. It doesn’t have to be long, as long you get your message across. 🙂
Photo by me. Check out the rest of the pictures on the photography Page!