Canada Day and the World Cup

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

This weekend was Canada Day. It also happens that the World Cup of soccer is currently on. These events coinciding creates a very surreal experience that I’ve never experienced in any other country.

Twelve years ago, in 2006, I was living in Revelstoke, working as a waiter over the summer, and as Italy won the World Cup, mopeds, mixed with some cars, came down the street waiving Italian flags and laying on their horn.

I can’t remember the exact details of the 2010 World Cup, but in 2012 I remember Swedish, English and Irish flags, among others I’m sure, in Halifax for the Euro Cup.

In 2014, I was travelling between Ottawa and Toronto a lot and everywhere you went, there were cars donned with flags, from Germany, Portugal, France and Italy to Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina.

This morning, I was driving to work and one of the homes I drove past was sporting a Swedish flag, followed by a Facebook post of friends from Ontario sporting English gear.

I’ve lived and travelled to other countries and I’ve never witnessed an abundance of foreign flags anywhere, to the extent that you see it in Canada, especially when mixed with national days of celebration.

In the Netherlands, where I grew up, I don’t think the waving of foreign flags would be a boon on or around King’s Day (and the orange madness). Similarly, I don’t think waving foreign flags would be welcomed in the U.S., let alone on or around July 4.

In Canada, despite the sheer variety of flags displayed and the usual coinciding with Canada Day, I’ve rarely felt it to be a dividing factor.

If anything, it’s been a bonding experience with other Canadians.

Much like hockey, it’s an excellent opportunity to go to a bar or a pub and bond with other Canadians for a few hours.

Unlike hockey, where Canadians will often support the same team (whether that’s Team Canada or whatever Canadian team is still in the running for the Stanley Cup), it may be in support of a vast array of different teams but to some extent that makes it all the more special.

It takes a unique level of maturity to be collectively having a good time, even when supporting different teams/countries.

It’s something that makes me proud of Canada, especially as it usually coincides with Canada Day.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Tsilhqot’in gather sacred water from Teztan Biny for Vancouver World Water Day event

The Nation is asking supporters to gather outside the BC Court of Appeal for the ceremony on Friday, March 22

Farmers’ market needs more food vendors

‘We really don’t want to lose membership’

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Carey Price

A weekly sports column from the 100 Mile Free Press

100 Mile House Wranglers eliminated from KIJHL playoffs

Second year in a row the team has been eliminated by the Revelstoke Grizzlies

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

POLICE: ‘Don’t leave children unattended in vehicles’

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher premiums, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read