Guest Author - Cavelle Natasha Layes
I never really understood how so many people truly believed that Canadians have no pride in their country. I have had many people tell me this over the years and it really does baffle me. I love my country dearly, I love what it represents, I love its natural beauty and I love the people.
Every country celebrates their “pride” in different ways and Canada is no exception. We may not put down other Country’s to make ours seem more powerful, or have an in your face kind of attitude about it, and we don’t really shout out our National colors through song but we certainly DO have pride. We just celebrate it in our own way.
You see Canadian Pride has a totally different definition for us, a complete new meaning. Canadian Pride isn’t how someone waves a flag, or how loud they shout out the national anthem, it’s not even the person who has maple leaf painted on their face. Canadian pride is much more then all of this, Canadian pride is an emotion not an action. It something we feel not do.
I think a perfect example of this is the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, an event where Canadians everywhere flooded the streets, pubs, and even local halls to watch and support our athletes. We cheered them on wanting so badly for them to win. Not because we wanted to be better then the other countries but because though for most of us Alex, or Ashleigh, or even Jon were total strangers it still felt as if it was our brother, daughter, and even best friend that was standing up there on the podium. You see that is what it means to be Canadian, none of us are strangers, we are all family, from coast to coast that is Canadian Pride.
We didn’t celebrate the defeat of others, we celebrated the win of our brother and through some sacred bond it felt as if it were our win as well. We may not be loud, but our hearts speak louder then words ever could, and when each of our athletes passed through the finish line or when Crosby got that final goal we didn’t shout it in peoples faces, we didn’t make a point to say we were better then anyone instead millions of people across the country began to sing “Oh Canada” because at that moment there were no other words that could describe the pride that we had for our country, and because it came from the heart.
This is Canadian pride, it is an emotion, it is that warm feeling that bursts out of you, it is something that is felt deep inside our very souls. It’s not something that can not be forced upon anyone or expressed through the waving of a flag, it doesn’t come through in how loud we sing O’Canada but how we sing it. Though others may not understand this, they may view it as a weakness or as a sign that we are not patriotic this is only their belief. We will not conform to the ways of other countries because we do not need to prove our love for country through how much we hate others. We do not need to think we are better then anyone to know that we are great.
We do not need to follow in the footsteps of other countries because that is not what it means to be Canadian. We will continue to express our pride in our own way we will keep the humble beaver as our symbol because though we may be quiet, and we may not have the teeth or claws of a tiger or lion, we are still powerful, we a strong, and we are Canadian, and above all we are proud.