Thursday, July 01, 2004

Happy Canada Day

I am sitting here watching our Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, giving her speech on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day Celebrations. And I must admit that I was impressed by the acknowdlegement given to the 400th annniversary of the Founding of Acadia. There were quite a few Acadians waving starred blue, white and red flags. Living so far away from my Acadie its an amazing feeling to see your flag beeing showcased on national TV.

That makes me wonder about Quebecers. Next month, I will have been a resident of Quebec for 8 years. Its amazing how fast time flies by when you are having fun. And yes, I must admit, its been an interesting and fun 8 years. Through this time, I think I have managed to meet and interact with quite a few Quebecers and get a good grasp on Quebecois culture.

So why is it, that there are hundreds of thousands of Acadians, Happy Acadians, living, working, and having a great time in Canada while the Quebecois seem to be so disenchanted by the idea of being in Canada? They would like us to think that it is impossible to marry Canadian Culture with any other. Well, let me tell you...

Acadians were the first ones to arrive from Europe in Canada in 1604. They arrived in New-Brunsick in late June, first discovering the St-John River on June 24th 1604. It was so named in honour of St-Jean Baptist day, which has always been a staple of French culture, even in 1604. Do I need to remind you that June 24th is the Quebec "National" holiday? Acadians kept coming for next 150 years, until 1755. At that point there were tens of tousands of Acadians living very happy and prosperous lives in Nova-Scotia, New-Brunswick and PEI. Quebec was also populated since 1606 and doing very well. So for the first 200 years or so French was the main language of pre-confederation Canada. Well, a few wars, a deportation/genocide and a confederation later, there is aout 1/2 million Acadians in Canada, living in french, proud Canadians, proud Acadians. That being said, Happy Canada day, EVERYONE.

No comments: