The city was alive. It was February 2010, and as I walked down Granville Street after Canada won hockey gold, I had never felt more proud to be a Canadian in my life. Everyone in the city—no the country—was united in the joy of victory. All around me faces were smiling, singing O'Canada, and waving flags.
The languages of the people around me waving Canadian flags were also not all in English: some were in Chinese, Japanese, Tagalog, and countless more. We were all something else, but we were also all firstly, Canadian.
As a 3rd generation Canadian, I am part of a growing demographic in Canada that we at Schema believe are poised to shape the nation. Those who are 1.5 Gen and beyond are in the unique position of having insights and understanding of Canada and also of "the motherland."
We are able to transition between cultures and appreciate the bad and good of both with clear eyes. We can celebrate Chinese New Year, St. Patrick's Day, and Diwali all in one year without a blink of an eye.
This mix of cultures has always been to me, the best part of being Canadian. Even from its beginnings, Canada has been multicultural with its French and English heritage and the acceptance and absorption of other cultures is what makes Canada different from many other countries in the world. It is something we should cherish, protect, and encourage.
Many places may call themselves multicultural, but having traveled to Europe and Asia, and through various American states, I can safely say that there are very few places where one's differences aren't just tolerated, they are celebrated.
We are lucky to live in a place that is so open to truly being a diverse nation.
This year, on Canada's 143rd birthday, we should all take a moment to think about what it is that we love about being Canadian—be it hockey, or the Rockies, Canadian beer, or just the simple ability to be yourself, in all your diverse and varied ways. I love being Canadian, don't you?
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