By: Surjit Singh Flora
Heading into the annual week to celebrates our beloved country Canada’s 151th Birthday on July, many among us must have been reflecting on what it means to be Canadian. And what each of us was feeling might well have depended upon which stage of our journey into Canada we ourselves are in.
As a Cold weather and hockey may be internationally recognized symbols of Canada, but beyond its climate and recreation activities, this great nation has a lot to offer newcomers.
This year marks the 151th birthday of our country. Like many nations, Canada was born out from under Britain’s Imperial rule. Significant to Canada, and reflective of our current and modern spirit, we did so without a fight. That is, there was no bloodshed.
Diplomacy with Britain is what allowed Canada to avoid the battles that cost the lives of so many in search of freedom, as was done in many other places around the world.
I chose Canada because of the wonderful and helpful Canadians I had met along my life’s journey so far. They were extremely nice and kind and tolerant of my language difficulties when first coming from India in 1989.
Canada is successful as a nation because it has always been a country founded and built by people who came here by choice, who immigrated for a chance at a new life, and who have worked hard, generation after generation to build a tolerant society. Everyone is free to dress as they wish, speak English or the language of their birth or ancestry, worship and live in peace.
It is also one of the countries in the world where the culture of peace has the deepest roots. People can freely express their ideas, participate in politics and depend on a fair judicial system to protect their rights. The country’s multicultural policies also help everyone to find their place in the society.
Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world. We enjoy free health care, four seasons, hockey, peace, love – all in abundance. Special needs schooling for kids with physical handicaps, intellectual disabilities —yes, it’s free. And organizations like The Friendship Circle that provide a social life outside of cyberspace at no cost at all.
It’s fascinating to live in a multicultural environment like the Greater Toronto Area because as a journalist, I have the opportunity to meet people with very different backgrounds and learn about their cultures. In other words, a great multicultural spirit is what Canada stands for.
Canada has given me hundreds of special moments and incredible friends and acquaintances.
The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of race, religion, or community, a country that respects and gives equality to all.
If we talk about violence, it’s prevalent in every corner of the world today. The difference being some countries have just a little of it while in others it’s more than one can imagine.
Violence is not strictly limited to places where people are fighting. Violence can also be found in social inequality, discrimination towards women, poverty, the rejection of others because of their differences and unreasonable use of the environment.
Building a culture of peace thus means developing, on a daily basis, the values, ways of thinking and attitudes that are in keeping with equality, tolerance, sharing, generosity, and respect.
My family celebrates Canada Day at Niagara Falls. We book two nights; the first day we enjoy the waterfalls, take the kids to the games, they play around, then at night we watch the wonderful fireworks. The next day we take the kids to Maryland, they get the rides, enjoy watch the dolphin shows, we just love it.
Canada has given me hundreds of special moments and incredible friends and acquaintances. Now it is part of my life.
Canada is rich in land and lots of water, which is usually clean for swimming and fishing, our forests with deep lush woods and also our farms enjoy bountiful harvests. Usually the worst we have to face is a little cold and snow.
I proud to say I am a Canadian and I am also proud my children will be able to say the same. I believe there is no other country around with the freedom and choices Canada has to offer.