Today is National Day in China. It’s the 60th anniversary of the PRC. Naturally, I’ve been talking about it with the students who live in China (none of the students who live in Canada have brought it up). In the discussions, we’ve mostly been working on vocabulary: The People’s Republic of China, fireworks, parade, and the mangled English pronunciation of Chairman Mao.
I was not inclined to ask how anyone felt about National Day.
No one insisted on telling me how they felt about National Day.
We talked about the things that happened today. We talked about some of the history. We talked about the fireworks that were so loud we had a hard time talking over Skype. To my students, it was just another holiday to be celebrated. There was no more patriotic pride than usual. No one lorded their culture over mine.
CBC had the guts to put up this site for/about Chinese Canadians on National Day. I like the guy with the French name who talks about the food, and I like the anonymous poster who points out that no one government is perfect. There seems to be a lot of finger-pointing over this year’s National Day celebration (but no other year; is a country only bad on its 60th anniversary?) and discussion about the various things the Chinese government is doing.
So, does that mean Canada Day is all about our government? Nothing about the people, the land, the culture? Statistics Canada estimates the Canadian population to be 33 796 948 people. Take out the million people or so who constitute our various governments, and that leaves about 32 796 948 people who do not deserve to be celebrated on July 1st?
And how is this any different than any other form of racism?