Friday, June 24, 2011

On Nationalism

This morning, I went to buy Canada Day t-shirts for the kids on the way to work. I was also thinking about going to buy some Canada stuff to decorate... you know me, there isn't a holiday that I don't enjoy and having the kids gives me the perfect reason to celebrate. We are going to go to the city to celebrate with my parents - we will go to the hokey community parade, the festival in the park and I hope to be back home in time to watch our town's fireworks. What a great way to celebrate summer!

On the other hand, I feel a teeny bit funny about it. I have taught several Jehovah's Witness students in the last few years and they are very uncomfortable with the idea of loyalty to nation (as, according to my understanding of their beliefs, something that can interfere with pure loyalty to God). That actually makes some sense to me. There have been so many actrocities committed in the name of "nation" (which can also represent religion, ethnicity, and, to a lesser degree, race). As Canadians, we love to feel superior about the fact that we don't allow nationalism to cloud our judgement the way that we feel that happens in the U.S. (and, I might add, which is not true - Canadian arrogance has cause us problems many times in our history). There is a side of me that loves the idea of a July 4th-type celebration, an unabashed worship of one's nation. What a great way to begin summer and I love the idea of all the red and white bunting!

So, yet again in my life, I feel like I really need to be aware of balance. Yes, we will celebrate and yes, we will wear our gear and have our fun. On the other hand, I will try to encourage my children to realise that being Canadian isn't something that defines us all that firmly and that, while it is something that defines us as being incredibly lucky compared to much of the world's population, it isn't what forms the essence of who we are.

God keep our land...

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