Living in the United States, it’s sometimes difficult to celebrate national holidays, as I never get the days off work. But I find my own unique ways to keep my country pride alive and sometimes I even get others in on the fun.
Today is Canada Day. My beloved home country, the land I call my home, is turning 147 years old and I’m stuck in America. Now most Americans don’t even know there is a country north of the border, let alone that they have an actual day dedicated to Canada’s independence. So you can see my frustration. But, luckily, I work at an awesome public relations firm, with a boss and coworkers that actually appreciate Canada and other nations’ cultures. So today, I have brought my Canada Day celebrations to our office in Kansas City, Missouri, the heart of the American Midwest. We have two beautiful Canadian flags hanging in the windows, red and white balloons taped to every desk, red food-coloured water, red and white fruit salad (bananas and strawberries) and of course all of us are wearing red and white. We listened to “Oh Canada” (twice) and some Dean Brody and have been making Canada-friendly social media posts to Twitter and Facebook all day. Oh and I forgot to point out that I have red and white stripes painted on my face and temporary Canada tattoos all over my hands. Overall, it’s been a pretty good Canada Day so far.
So for all you Americans (or people from any other country) who are reading this post, here are some fun facts about Canada that you probably didn’t know.
Number 1: Our national sport is lacrosse.
To your surprise, hockey is not actually our national sport. Yes, we are absolutely amazing at it (over 75% of all NHL players are actually from Canada) and have been kicking the world’s butt at it for several years now, but its not our national sport. Lacrosse is actually really fun to watch (just as much cross-checking as hockey) and believe it or not, there is a National Lacrosse League, with 4 Canadian teams in it.
Number 2: We actually have created some pretty famous (and gorgeous) celebrities
Everyone knows that Celine Dion is from Canada (she is absolutely amazing), but did you know we have a whole list of famous Canadians?
- Jim Carrey
- William Shatner
- The Guess Who
- Rachel McAdams
- Ryan Reynolds
- Ryan Gosling
Number 3: We invented peanut butter
That’s right. Without Canada, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy your lunch-time favourite, the Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich. And if you like peanut butter and apples as a snack, well the McIntosh Apple is native of Canada as well.
Number 4: Without Canada, the world would never have read the stories of Winnie the Pooh
A bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short) and his love for the bear cub inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne, about Winnie-the-Pooh.
Number 5: We dominate at the Winter Olympics
Canada holds the record for the most gold medals ever won at the Winter Olympics, since taking 14 Golds at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. (and yes, 4 of those came from Men’s and Women’s hockey and Men’s and Women’s Curling)
So now that you’re a bit more familiar with the second largest country in the world (yes America, Canada is bigger than you), here are some tips for finding a Canadian in the US (or any other country for that matter).
Tip #1: If they say pardon, rather than “What?” they are most likely Canadian.
Tip #2: Notice anyone holding the door for you even though you’re 10 feet away? That’s because they’re Canadian.
Tip #3: Tim Horton is a person, but if you hear someone talking about Tim Horton, its because they’re Canadian and they miss the delicious taste of the coffee at their favourite restaurant, called Tim Hortons.
Tip #4: Poutine what? If you’re being served this delicious dish of french fries, cheese curds and gravy, then you are definitely in the presence of a Canadian.
Tip #5: It’s winter and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. What is that completely insane person doing wearing shorts and a T-shirt? Well, that Canadian is enjoying the warmth, as it is probably -40 degrees Fahrenheit back home in Canada.
So if you come across a Canuck today, make sure to wish them a Happy Canada Day. And maybe even impress them with some of your newly learned knowledge of their home country.