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June 22, 2006

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Polly

on Sept 11, 2001 I was in my first month of law school and had a brilliant canadian contracts professor. on that awful day we still went on with classes, but we didn't discuss the law, we discussed the day. i remember that my professor said it had been interesting for him to watch the reactions of the american students as well as things on TV because he said that we seem to have a national pride/patriotism that he doesn't feel towards his own country. I was surprised by that, thinking that everyone felt about their country the way that we do.
but perhaps he was generalizing for all canadians, and not everyone felt or feels that way. he was just one man.

I really enjoyed this post because I love seeing a country from its citizen's eyes--instead of neighbors' eyes.

national pride is very important here in the us, patriotism is a big deal and to be called unpatriotic is an insult. but people define that different. I will admit that I love my country, my homeland, very much. not so much national pride as it is a love of my terra mater. but as an american I have extremely mixed emotions because of the actions our government has taken in foreign countries. it is a very weird thing to be so glad to be an american, to love the US, but to not want to say that because I don't want it to be confused with agreeing with our foreign policy. i'm terrified of our country's perception in the world. so while national pride or patriotism is an emotion I cannot deny it is a double-edged sword that is coupled with both fear of saying i'm american when i'm in another country and a desire to separate myself from whatever the american 'stereotype' might be (as brought on by the government? or by citizens who travel and never try to delve into a culture? both?!)

I envy canadians the tolerance/sensitivity. i would love to live in a place that i felt respected people's sensitivities etc. interesting post, thank you for it!

Elaine

As I read your post, I started feeling lucky about some of the vacations my family took. We drove and camped, not only across the U.S. -- our farthest west was Montana, quite a distance from our home in New Jersey -- but also across Canada. Almost literally: on our trip to Montana, we also went to Banff and Jasper, then DROVE non-stop for several days across all the prairie provinces. On other trips, we visited the Maritime provinces and Quebec.

Just the way I got an indelible sense of much of the United States, I also got this for Canada, and feel lucky. Actually, I was such a Canada fan that in high school, I thought it was a much better country than the U.S. (precocious little cynic that I was) and considered both a Canadian university and immigrating.

As it turned out, I was talked out of McGill and ended up living in Japan! But Canada still has a special place in my heart even today.

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