Thursday, 29 November 2012

O Canada

I was listening to CBC radio this morning, our national broadcast channel.  They were announcing the upcoming contest known as "Canada Reads" where famous Canadians defend a Canadian novel to be voted as the best of the year.  I love this event every year, because it introduces me to some new books and lets me hear some great insight into their stories and themes.

As I listened to the program, my heart swelled with Canadian pride.  Somewhere in our expansive country a lone radio announcer was sitting in a small booth and inviting Canadians everywhere to listen and participate.  I felt united to fellow citizens from the east coast to the west coast, and clear up to the northern seas.  Images flashed before me of listeners young and old, in their car or in their kitchens, in families or in a comfy chair alone, all listening to the same words streaming over the airwaves.  And I wondered if this same kind of quiet pride and unity exists in many other countries.  Patriotism means different things to different people, but I also think that it is expressed differently in different countries.  When I think of the United States, for example, I think of hands over hearts and raised flags and a very loud exuberant pride.  When I think of France, I think of a much more exclusive love of country.  Canadian pride, in my mind, burns strong and silent.

I wonder if other countries have something like a "Canada Reads" program on the CBC, a national station that unites people and places so far apart geographically and culturally.  Truly a wonder to behold.

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