Mounties, maple leaves, people skiing… Pretty much all you need to know. Dear Canada, this is how stereotypes are made.

Ask a Canadian — any Canadian — and the answer will be yes.
100% of the time. Guaranteed.

As an American, I respectfully disagree, but I can still appreciate the patriotism of Canadians. Especially because the logic behind it often makes no sense at all. (And before you get all angry with me, Canadians, answer this one question: “Tim Hortons: WHY?” And don’t say the price. That has little to do with flavour. Be honest — it’s good because it’s Canadian, and that’s it.)

That is not to say that Canada is not a great country, undeserving of such love and devotion. Quite the opposite, in fact! Canada is truly a wonderful country that celebrates and enshrines enlightened ideals, and whose history and culture reflect the boundless strength and determination of a people who are good, honest, and just! And all that good stuff.

But oddly, these are never the reasons why Canadians love Canada, which is why I said their patriotism makes no sense. They like that Canada is big, pretty, and not America. But they are also almost more critical of it than they are of America at times.

You see, no one loves Canada as much as Canadians; but by the same token, no one hates Canada more than Canadians. The second an outsider begins to tell a Canadian exactly what they want to hear, the Canadian will immediately retract their boastful statement (adorably, as though embarrassed at their own hubris) and begin back-pedalling with something like “Yeah, it’s pretty NOW, but wait until like… October. That’s when you’ll start missing home!” or “It’s not that great. Like, we have a lot of social injustice and stuff that we’re really not proud of…”

There’s a reason one image is an advertisement, and not the other. Which is why people still immigrate to the US.

I’m not even kidding. Who does that?! I can’t tell you how many times Canada’s history of abusing aboriginals came up in conversations about how great Canada is, always playing the role of “national drawback.” Imagine this same scenario taking place down in the US. If an immigrant or exchange student were to say “Wow, this country is really great,” we would say, “Yeah? I’m glad you think so! It is kind of great, isn’t it?”

Never a mention of slavery. Never a mention of internment camps. I mean, who’s going to bring up the Trail of Tears when you’re trying to sell someone on your country? (Answer: A Canadian.) That’s not an example of Americans being pig-headed and superior; it’s just pride. And though a small dose of realism couldn’t hurt, I think it’s healthy.

I mean, really, Canada?? Is the maple leaf really necessary here? On the most American of all food franchises? You’re not fooling anyone.

But that doesn’t mean that Canada’s own self-depricating brand of Nationalism isn’t endearing in its own way. It adds to the welcoming (/apologetic) atmosphere and lack of self-importance that make Canadians so much more tolerable on a world stage, and it’s the reason why I tell people I’m Canadian when I go overseas. I mean, there’s a reason they like Canadians, and not Americans. Maybe this is it.

Still, there’s nothing more hilarious than watching the internal struggle that takes place within every Canadian when asked how they feel about their country. It’s like they can’t decide between humility and honesty.

Ultimately, honesty always wins out. Which is why the country is all but wallpapered in maple leaves. O, Canada. I love you.


(Pt. II here)