IDENTITY Is Not A Strong Enough Word

Essay, Research Paper

How do others see Canadians, do Canadians have a unique national identity? Although the United States (US) has some influence on most countries, Canadian life revolves around the US, and sometimes, how much we hate Americans. Most countries cannot say that they are made up of two separate nations (English and French), Canada, on the other hand, can say this. Another thing about Canada is its unique geography, the fact that it shares the longest border with the US, and Canada has the longest coastline. Canada has a very unique national identity, just like every other country.

As Dr. Sheppard once said, Canadians have a textbook case of a love/hate relationship with the US; they are our next-door neighbors that we love to hate, everything they do down south reverberates up here. According to Michael LeGault, both Canada and the US are industrial nations that share a similar British heritage. Further, as the video ?Canadian Identity? stated, Canadian television only shows one-third Canadian programming, and among one hundred movies shown in Canadian theatres, three are Canadian. Since three quarters of us live in the same climate as them, 150 kilometers from the border, the biggest difference must be the Franco-phones (and maybe the beer). Our unique obsession with the US renders us different from all other countries except the US, ?Canadians really have little to fear from the U.S. ? and plenty to teach,? Patrick Harden.

Many countries in the world have more than one popular language, but although Canada falls into this category, it is a country divided by language, culture and politics. The main factor that detaches Canada from these other countries is that Canada?s two separate cultures have no solidarity. Canada has a unique problem in that one of its provinces wants to separate from the Confederation. As the video, ?Canadian Identity? pointed out, while the vast majority of Canada celebrates Canada Day, on July 1, Quebec, the predominately French-speaking area of the country, celebrates St. Jean Babtiste Day. When one section of the 10 Provinces and 2 Territories that make up Canada, is itching to leave, it?s no wonder Canada is so different from the rest.

How we live depends on where we live (someone from Charlottetown is not affected by a depletion of salmon fisheries), therefore, our identity also depends on where we live. Due to Canada?s area of 9 970 610 km2 (Encarta 97), it is hard for someone from one area of Canada to identify with someone from another area. Since Ontario is the most populous province, it has much more say than any other province, in the government, and is home to most big companies? Canadian headquarters. Since the population density of Canada is approximately three people per square kilometer, and seventy-eight percent of the population is urban, Canada is compared to an Archipelago (by Professor R.C. Harris) in which concentrations of people and lights are flecked across the vast land. Our archipelago of cities containing people who cannot relate to other areas of Canada is not a common worldly sight.

There is no question about Canadian identity existing. We are obsessed with the US, but this is not our identity. Canada is made up of the English, French and 1st Nations, but this is not our identity. The geography is set apart from any other in the world, for many reasons, but this is not our identity. Canadian identity is a mixture of all of the above and a myriad of other concepts and characteristics, not one thing, and, yes Canada has a distinct national identity.


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