Before I moved to England to teach I was fairly typical in defining my Canadian-ness as simply "not American." The video below really demonstrates that idea. It's a few years old now, but this beer company really hit the nail on the head in terms of defining what many Canadians believe to be our Canadian-ness.
But then when I lived in London, in one of the world's most diverse cities, I started to realize that my definition of "not American" wasn't really enough. Most of my friends were Australian, New Zealander, British, Zimbabwean and South African. I didn't know many Americans & Canadians when I taught in London. So, I learned that for me, being Canadian was so much more than simply not American. It also means having a massive land mass with plenty of personal space between us. (I really learned that lesson when I did a teaching practicum in Bangladesh, but that's a story for another day.)
We are a multicultural country, but in so many ways we are just at the very beginning of this transformation. We are a little baby compared to England - we're still so young in comparison. I find the video of "Joe" above to be a funny one, and outdated in what I would define Canadian as now. He's white, wearing a plaid shirt, and likely listening to the Tragically Hip. Sure, that's one part of our Canadian-ness, but what about all the other cultures represented in Canada?
When I looked for the Joe video in You Tube, another video came up as recommended viewing. "I am a Muslim" is an American video, but it looks almost like a direct response to the "I Am Canadian" Video above. Check it out below.
I love this video and really think we should have a new "I am Canadian" video to show what our diversity is really all about. It can't be a beer commercial (in case you don't already know, Muslims don't generally drink alcohol), and frankly, I'm not that keen on a beer company defining Canadian-ness for us all anyway.
What would you want in an "I Am Canadian" video that is more representative of our Canada today? What would you want to show your students abroad?
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