Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Patriotic Week/ Joyeux Semaine Patriotique

(Despite the bilingual nature of the title, don't for a moment expect me to actually post in French. My grasp of the French language is weak at best.)

Wednesday is Canada Day. On my recent trip to London, I happened to see to following product display in the grocery store:

All things outrageously Canadian... mostly featuring the omnipresent maple leaf.

Seriously... everything you could possibly need to throw a Canada BBQ, right there. Also some things you wouldn't think of, but holy cow, they've got them.

I mean, throw pillows. Really? Pot holders and flags and windsocks I get, but throw pillows? Really?

Also, the aprons were fantastic:
I mean the one with the maple leaf is fairly predictable, but the one on the left is fantastic. I recently read the suggestion that irony is a defining Canadian value, and there it is. Right there. I mean, if you meet a Canadian and they know you aren't Canadian, if you mention the word "eh" to them, they will carry on about how people from the States think they say it all the time, and that they really don't, that it is a sort of hick thing to say, and so on. And I'm not saying that the SuperStore isn't trying to sell to anyone who will pay for it, but come on. Celebrating your patriotism with a joke? I love these people. They love Canada, but they are also willing to laugh at themselves and the people (you know, Americans) who laugh at them. (Incidentally, they say it somewhat frequently. I actually rather appreciate it as a useful lingusitic device, however-- I know a lot of up-talkers and their use of "eh" helps me understand the difference between a declarative statement and a question. Not always, but sometimes.)

Of course, since I am spending this week in Nashville, I get the 4th of July, too. In the interests of cross-cultural fairness, I thought I would share the holiday display at a local grocery store:

And I went to a nice store, in a good part of town... and other than the red, white and blue plates and napkins, the sum total of US flag-themed merchandise was a few citronella
candles (sort of down there in the picture on the top, and the flag on the chair at the top there). The dominant feature of the display, though was the giant wall of beer. This sort of cracks me up.

One question though:

Since both are bank holidays, one in the country where I am, and one in the country where I work, should I just take two full days of doing almost nothing and blowing stuff up? If not, which should I celebrate?

I think to play it safe, I'm going to take it easy until Sunday.

1 comment:

Carol & Bob said...

Yep, I say enjoy both holidays!