This week in class, I learnt about the Canadianization of Canada's Foreign Policy.
This blog has absolutely nothing to do with Canada's foreign affairs, except that the lecture made me realise that I am slowly and surely becoming Canadianized. (For instance, I am now spelling Canadianized with a 'z' instead of an Aussie 's'.)
Though I only just realised it, I can see now that this process has been creeping up on me since my arrival here. But (*deep breath*) I know that the first step to recovery is admitting what I've become.
I would like to begin by admitting that anti-violence, anti-exercise me has been indoctrinated into the vicious world of ice hockey. Ice hockey is the sport of Canadians. It is extremely fast, played in extremely big stadiums, gives Canadians the opportunity to make extreme amounts of noise, and it is very, very rough. This Wednesday I went to see a game of ice hockey between the home team Ottawa Sentors and the Florida Panthers.
A group of us enjoyed chicken strips and fairy floss (or candy floss as it is called here) whilst attempting to see the puck from our stadium seat about 100 metres above the actual ice rink. I won't claim to understand anything about the actual sport, except to say that I felt like I was at a quidditch match at Hogwarts – which makes ice hockey pretty cool. In between quarters and before the game they had a So You Think Can Dance dance-off, a karaoke contetst, a Best Fan competition and a Cutest Couple competition.
But ice hockey is not all that led me on my way to Canadianization. My next point of admission is that I have decided to sacrifice fashion for warmth. Last week I invested in the purchase of a purple woolen vest. Not certain if such a thing is a Canadian fashion faux pas just as it would certainly be in Australia, the shop assistant informed that vests are cool for Canadian kids. So I bought one, and I am now warm (snow is forecast for the next week – eeek!) and, apparently, trendy. But only in Canada.
The crowning point in my Canadianization, however, would have to be my participation in Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is celebrated at different times in Canada and the USA to appreciate the success of that year's harvest. Although America won't have Thanksgiving until November, we had it in Canada two weekends ago. Here at my university residence, a group of about 50 students got together and allocated different types of food that we could cook for Thanksgiving. We had turkeys, stuffing, ham, squash, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, which are the traditional Thanksgiving foods. Myself, another Aussie and a group of French girls were the head chefs for potato-mashing! On the night of Thanksgiving we all came together to eat our feast until we were so full we couldn't move.
So, as a vest-wearing, Thanksgiving-celebrating, ice hockey-going Australian, I feel that I have accidentally become Canadianized. If there are any other vest-wearing, Thanksgiving-celebrating, ice hockey-going Australians out there, let me know so we can share our stories and embark on our journey to recovery together ;)
Next week is Halloween so I'm going to need all the help I can get.