It’s Canada Day in London! There’s a massive street party in Trafalgar Square. In addition to timbits and poutine, there is a hockey tournament and music from The Mahones, Alex Cuba and Blue Rodeo. Also yoga. And chef David Adjey. I don’t really know who most of those people are, but the point is: it’s a party.
I mentioned this to a colleague today, to which she remarked that Canada Day is a way bigger celebration in the UK than any British celebration of anything patriotic.
That gave me pause.
When I resumed I realized why that is: because while both Canadians and the Brits are known to be modest and self-deprecating, Canadians secretly think they’re awesome – and are happy to have an opportunity to bury their ‘aw shucks’ persona under a Canada Flag cape and belch along to Oh Canada. In public. In a foreign country, no less. Canada Day makes this kind of behaviour acceptable.
The Brits have no such release valve. Generally uncomfortable with any boast that isn’t either sarcastic or almost-impossibly roundabout, they’re just not good with celebrating Britishness. The only day that even comes close is St. George’s Day in April. And that day has been co-opted by racists (or the concern that celebrating it appears racist).
How to deal with this sensitive situation? Easy.
I did what any Canadian would do: I invited my colleague to come down to Trafalgar Square and celebrate how awesome Canada is! That’s Canadian pride and Canadian hospitality for you.
We’re more than happy to come over to your place, throw a huge party celebrating how awesome (and dangerous), we are – and then make sure you feel free to attend.
Seriously… come on down.