Happy Canada Day everyone. I must admit that this year, with restrictions on large gatherings, I am forced to think about the celebration rather than follow what is planned for me. My city Markham, is planning a virtual Canada Day celebration (www.Markham.ca/CanadaDay). I do not believe that the celebration should be called virtual, even though it physically is, we celebrate it in full emotion. 

How do you celebrate your Canada Day? I decided that I will celebrate Canada Day by writing about some of the things that I am so grateful for. I am grateful for our democracy and freedom, for my peaceful neighbourhood and wall-free house, for my friendly and generous community, family, friends, teachers, and colleagues who have all helped me to be where I am today. I am grateful to the doctors and nurses who kept me alive, and for this beautiful vast land that is so diverse and unique, most of which I still thirst to see. If you have lived abroad or read about it, you would know that none of these should be taken for granted.

I confess that whenever I sing the National Anthem, I hesitate on “my home and Native Land” because I was not born here. Am I being pretentious by say me native land out loud? But I feel blessed and I do love this land and it is my only home, since my birthplace had taken my birthright away at a young age. In many ways, perhaps I feel more blessed and grateful for Canada. My way of dealing with this is to assume that the phrase means the land of the Native Canadians whom I acknowledge for sharing their rich land with us. This is not me being political. On the contrary, I believe that on this day we should put all partisan politics and all our differences aside and focus on our Unity.

I give thanks to all public servants (including those I did not vote for), all our frontline workers, and all the people of Canada who serve in some way to make our daily lives better. Let us celebrate our unity and all the joys that our diversity offers us. Let us give social media a positive boost on Canada Day. Happy Canada Day everyone and God Bless Canada.  



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