Devoted followers of my blog (yes, all four of them) may recall that I recently became Canadian at the end of 2010. Since then I have successfully used my shiny new passport to travel to Central America (without needing any Visa – woohoo!) and Southeast Asia; voted in the federal election, even though clearly my vote didn’t count; and continued to enjoy identifying myself as a proud Canadian.
Given my new-born patriotism, it was obvious that I needed to be in the country’s capital to celebrate my first Canada Day as a Canadian. Plus, Will and Kate were in town. So I made a quick road-trip to visit my friend Sheila in Ottawa. The morning of Canada Day we played my newly-invented game called “Eh to Zed of Canada” (sorry, if someone has copyrighted it already) where you go around the table reciting the alphabet and name off a Canadian word starting with that letter. For example: Apple, Beaver, Canada, Deer, Elections… YYZ, Zipper etc. There were several toasts to celebrate my initiation to this wonderful nation, and yes, even the Quebecois attendees raised their glasses.
Then we embarked on a strenuous journey from the suburbia to Parliament Hill. A twenty minute walk later, we got on a bus full of intoxicated young adults who were clearly not patriotic but just needed an excuse to act passionate and repeatedly chant O Canada! Take a look…
Once we got off the bus, I was thankful this ride was over. But wait, THAT is the atmosphere on all of Parliament Hill on Canada Day. While some families are out to celebrate their nation and enjoy the show, others just celebrate their excuse for public misconduct. Here is a photo-essay highlighting some of the sights from the evening.
So here’s the verdict: Last six months as a Canadian – awesome! Canada Day in Ottawa celebrations – not what I expected, a little rowdy for my liking, but at the same time the mere magnitude of people coming together to have fun and celebrate their Canadianism is exciting.
They say once you celebrate Canada in Ottawa, everything else doesn’t seem to match up to it. It’ll probably be case with me as well. As much as I complained about loud and proud drunken teenagers, no other city can match up to the sheer dedication and commitment that all of Ottawa displays on Canada Day.