This year Canada turns 151 years old. For a developed nation we are probably in the middle-age range. That sweet spot where you are comfortable in your own skin and confident in your decision making (for the most part). Not too young and reckless and not too old and senile to not make sense of the world.

This past January,  U.S. News & World Report ranked Canada as the second best country to live just below Switzerland. The study takes into account rankings in categories like adventure, cultural influence, open to business and others.

I think most Canadians would agree.

I am proud of all the parts that make up who I am which includes Italian and American, but I am also a proud Canadian. I’ve come to realize it is my Canadian upbringing which has shaped my values.

Canadians are compassionate and progressive.

We pride ourselves on being a cultural mosaic rather than a melting pot. This was evident even in the small town I grew up in where my friends were comprised of different cultures and backgrounds with many of our relatives speaking broken English. We had friends who were immigrants who got to see snow for the first time and hopefully felt welcomed in their new home.

Canadians also think everyone should have the same rights no matter what your sexual orientation is. On July 20, 2005, Canada became the first country outside Europe and the fourth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act. 2005! This makes me happy for my friends who may not have felt their rights were recognized or for those people who just simply want to marry the person they love.

I was fortunate to be born in Canada. That alone has made me lucky. I don’t know what it is like to be a child in a war torn country and worried about bombings and what tomorrow might be like. I’m not worried about my right to vote or receiving an education. My passport alone has given me the privilege to travel to different countries without a visa and receive next to no hassles at foreign borders. While there are some things that could be fixed in our nation, just being born here has given me more freedom than I could possibly imagine.

Canada is complex and we have some awful parts in our history and things that could also be better now, but lately I am appreciating just how lucky we are to be able to call Canada home. We are surrounded not only by beautiful scenery, but wonderful people who still say sorry – a lot.

No matter where I end up, Canada will always be my home and native land.

Enjoy your long weekend with some Canadian beer, Niagara wine or a caesar. You should also eat, so may I suggest poutine and butter tarts?!

Happy Canada Day! Bonne Fête Canada!

CanadaDay

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