3 Reasons Why I Really Love Canada

You might laugh at me when you hear this (my children think it’s hilarious), but I sometimes get choked up by O Canada. A tear has even been spotted once or twice. This patriotic emotion dates back to a powerful moment I experienced ten years ago, and I don’t expect it to ever change.

It was a cold wintry Monday morning, and I was rushing my sweet four-year-old to her kindergarten class, in a daze of exhaustion but eager to show off my new baby daughter in my arms. It was more challenging getting ready with two, but we made it just in time, well bundled against the wind.

After leaving Izzy at her classroom door with a kiss, I was caught in the hallway when the national anthem began to play. I froze and listened, gazing at little Samantha as she gazed back at me.

We had come home just two days earlier from an almost unspeakably wonderful adoption trip to China. Samantha was 9 months old, curious and beautiful, and unbeknownst to her, had just become Canadian. I couldn’t help but wonder how this new identity would take shape for her.

My new Canadian posing for her first Canadian passport photo a few days before leaving China

My new Canadian posing for her first Canadian passport photo a few days before leaving China

I don’t know if it was the exhaustion, the jetlag, or the thought of having just transplanted a child to a new country, but I felt a very strong and unexpected wave of emotion in that frozen moment. Ever since then, I have been unable to listen to O Canada from start to finish without choking up (and singing it with a straight face is still impossible), when I am with my Samantha. That feeling stuck. Nowadays when we’re together and the anthem starts to play, she squeezes my hand and sneaks a curious glance at my face, just to check.

I know that things are far from perfect here, in a number of ways. But everything in life is relative. And anthems aside, on this Canada Day weekend I feel very grateful, as always, to call Canada home. Here’s why:

1. Kindness rules. There are few nations on earth, if any, where racism, ableism and homophobia are less tolerated than in Canada. Yes, we have bigots, but their voices are far from dominant. My children know about racism because they learn about it in school, not because they witness it in their daily lives.

2. Canada is a good place to be a woman. As the mother of three daughters, I know that even though they will face challenges, they live in a society that values them. They have the freedom to contribute and to shape their own futures. And having experienced the end of my marriage just last year, it’s baffling for me to imagine living in a place where women do not have the right to make fundamental choices that will shape their own lives.

3. It’s boring. Clichés aside, it’s true, in a good way. We rarely make the international news headlines. And as my now ten-year-old daughter Samantha replied when I asked her what she liked most about Canada, “there’s no war.” Nuf said.

As a Canadian designer, I’m very proud to make my clothing line here in Toronto where I live, contributing to the local economy, and I’m grateful to have fantastic, supportive customers across the country and beyond. I have met so many other designers and entrepreneurs on a similar path, keeping their production Canadian despite the higher costs, because it just feels right. Thank you for helping make this possible.

A very happy Canada Day to you and yours!
Devorah Miller
http://www.redthreaddesign.ca/

p.s. What do you appreciate about Canada? I would love to hear your thoughts, hope you’ll share.

6 Comments

  1. I live in Australia but I have dreamed of visiting Canada one day in the future. I remembered when I was a little girl, my parents have discussed about plans of migrating the whole family there. Obviously it never happened. I like that you mention that Canada is boring and rarely makes international headlines. International headlines nowadays are full of bad news so by not being on it can only mean that everything is fine and dandy in Canada 🙂

  2. I’ve never been to Canada, but have always wanted to visit. I have good friends there who love it and I’ve heard so many fantastic things about this country. Thanks for sharing your love with us. 🙂

  3. Beautiful! I have worked with many refugees from Burma, Sierra Leone and Somalia. Canada is a great place for people around the world to call home. and I get choked up when I sing O Canada too – especially at a Citizenship ceremony! thanks for your story.

  4. Beautiful post! I’m also a Canadian fashion designer that also is very proud to make all of my clothing in Canada.

    We are very lucky to live in such a safe, conflict-free country where tolerance is high and many cultures and lifestyles are accepted. This is something that many people take for granted but is one of the reasons I am proudest to be a Canadian.

  5. Samantha’s description of Canada says so much. Love it.
    What a beautiful blog this is!
    John

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