If you’re tuning in from Part 1 of “Stuff about: Canada” I’ll be carrying right along. This is the second part of the post which I felt was going to finish looking more like the full print of an E book than a Medium blog story. I left off talking about some of the squabbles that went on between different groups in Canada’s past.
Over the centuries people from Canada and the United States have migrated and oscillated back and forth and one way or another into either country, be it because of religious and civil rights opportunities, Loyalists to the Crown escaping the revolutionary Yankees (not necessarily talking baseball here), for better jobs and better paychecks, for an “underground” road to freedom in the case of African slaves, or terrified Americans seeking asylum in a nearby foreign land from insane politicians. These and other factors make the USA Canada’s biggest trading partner and cultural influencer, and if you need proof just look at some of these names off the Toronto Raptors roster:
all playing under one roof in the cosmopolitan NBA. Besides the striking similarities, Canada does have a unique identity and culture all its own, and depending on which province or region you’re in the cultures can be very different, with influences from the French, English, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, Africans, South Asians, East Asians, First Nations, Inuits and many others.
Although historically within the country the French and British sides hadn’t seen eye to eye on many subjects, objects… ideologies, etc., and as I mentioned had even gone to war with each other at times, Canadian people themselves have gotten involved in many major international unions and organizations, most of the more recent major wars and conflicts, and today use many of their resources and skills to aid other nations with personal crises, bad hair days and all, sometimes to the point that the other countries question their help, like “Why are y’all so helpful to us, Canada?”
Similar to the USA, since that second giant human massacre ended (or World War II, as it’s sometimes called), Canada’s economy had a boom and has stabilized to maintain growth pretty consistently.
I know we tend to think of Canada as cold, which is fair as it can get down to -40 degrees F in some places, and lots of locations remain a winter wonderland all year round, which could be fun (?). There are some volcanoes there, where the biggest eruption in canadienne history destroyed an entire native village, spewed out a fourteen-mile-long stream of lava and, as if that wasn’t enough, blocked off the flow of a major river. Joking aside, it is a very large and geographically diverse country, and luckily most people don’t have to wait for once-in-a-millennium freak volcanic eruptions to warm up, as it can reach past 100 F in the summer of some areas.
To Americans, commonwealth and parliament and those kinds of fancy British terms may still sound somewhat foreign, but they’re pretty simple to compare. Let’s try!: like in other Commonwealth realms, namely Australia, Belize, Jamaica, so on and so forth, they have a prime minister (compare to the president) who is the head of the parliament (compare to the Congress) and a Supreme Court (compare, wait, you’ve got this one). For royal purposes there’s also a Governor-General that represents the UK, and the Crown, currently Prince Harry’s grandmama, is the sovereign. Still, she’s more of a symbolic leader unless Canada happens to have some sort of unnatural national meltdown (in the figurative, it could be a natural one too).
Tying into their cultural advocacy for harmony and knowledge, there have been Canadian Nobel laureates in all categories, including Fred Banting (and Charles Best helped) who won the prize in medicine for aiding in the “discovery” of the diabetes medication, insulin, though he and Best are not the reason why insulin prices are so high in the States, and in fact sold the patent for 1 dollar to be even less stingy with their life-saving invention.
The population has become largely urbanized with the vast majority living in either of the principal urban areas, and they also looooove America* as most Canadians live somewhere within around ninety-five miles of their southern border. The tundra climate any further north might also have something to do with it.
Nationally the country ranks among the highest globally in healthcare provision and education categories and is foster to the most adults with college and higher education degrees in the world. I have to give it up for them considering that the two leading sports are hockey and lacrosse, and I’m not dunking hockey and lacrosse, but a lot can definitely go wrong in the “health” department (especially protecting the head).
I’ve got nothing but applause, and besides those two leading pastimes, many sports and athletics are exercised and excelled by many Canadians worldwide, not to mention musical styles, television and cinema, nearly all the other arts, ingenuity, inventing and the list just rolls along (in Mulan scroll fashion). You could probably name at least a couple of famous Canadians in more than a few of those categories.
Another crucially important fact I’d like to add before closing is that the Canadian National Anthem goes on for nine more lines after the first bit O Canada, so don’t let me fool you;)
Unlike with Iceland (yet), I’ve really been to Canada just flying through, but even in Toronto Pearson summed with witnessing the many Canadians that call the US home I’ve been able to see the diversity and general kind and open spirit of their society.
Again, I hoped that I taught you something, or some forgotten information was sparked, or my The Weeknd joke got a chuckle out of you. Unfortunately, this almost has manifested as a show-off session for Canada and there are lots of honorable individuals I didn’t name here, and of course, the country and its people are always much bigger and broader than just ←this →. Please continue learning about the world and if you know Canada I’d enjoy a comment about what you know or like, or who you know or like from our neighbor up north.
For the next subject, we’ll be flying down to the united states of… Mexico.
Thank you, and this was stuff about: Canada
Merci pour la lecture!