Joking aside today my country turns 143 years old - young by European standards (though Italy is only 149 years old this year - next year is the big 150!) but its a country that reached maturity quickly. I am proud to be a Canadian despite the problems and concerns I read about daily. Despite the fact that it is not the country I once knew it is still my country and I love it with all my heart and soul no matter where I may be.
Last night was spent with our friends at the Canadian Club of Rome - a group of Canadians, Italians and friends of Canadians who "live, love and laugh in Rome". Tonight its a BBQ with more Canadian friends. Sadly there is nothing "official" happening as budget cuts have meant that there just isn't money for such frivolous things as celebrating our national day! Though I find it odd that countries receiving financial aid from Canada seem to be able to have big, elaborate National Days. I must get someone to explain that to me one day.
So tonight's celebration will be small, homespun and nothing elaborate - but maybe that is the way to celebrate our nationhood. With friends, good food, a beer or glass of wine and conversation. And who knows maybe a few fireworks.
As we blow out the birthday candles I am going to make a few wishes for my country. And then with all the breath I can manage make sure I blow out all the candles so those wishes come true.
For Canada I wish:
- continued prosperity and peace
- a safe and soon return of our troops from their "peace keeping" mission in Afghanistan
- that if this "peace keeping" mission must continue then that there be no more bodies loaded onto airplanes in Kandahar - dead soldiers who are then ignored by a government to cowardly to admit that those deaths are senseless
- for a government of politicians who are more interested in the common good of our country and less in their pensions, personal greed and desire to be reelected
But maybe today is a time for putting aside cynical thoughts and thinking of all the wonderful of positive things about being a Canadian. Simply celebrating with friends and saying Happy Canada Day!
01 luglio - Canada Day