Friday, 23 April 2010

Happy St George’s Day from a Repat Expat

Friday, 23 April 2010
One of the things I really miss about Canada is Canada Day. The date of the Canadian Federation – the 1st day of July in 1867 -- is a date forever branded on the brain of every school child, and it is celebrated with zeal every summer.

Everyone gets the day off work – families have barbecues, friends meet for backyard bonfires and fireworks, it’s a proper red-and-white-maple-leafed brouhaha.

Here in the UK, today is St George’s Day. It’s supposed to be the closest thing we have to a national holiday… except that we’re all at work. No one really makes a fuss about old St George (maybe they don’t believe in dragons?!)

I don’t know why this is. We are a nation of fierce patriots – Exhibit A: the fever-pitch hoopla surrounding any important England football match – yet we don’t actually officially commemorate or celebrate being English on a designated day, even though it’s right there on the calendar.

This makes me sad. I’m a devoted dual-nationalist, equally proud of both my English blood and my Canadian heart. I wouldn’t mind so much, but take a walk down the high street on the 17th of March and every pub is decked out in Irish bunting in honour of St Patrick and it’s “top-of-the-mornin’-to-ya’s” and “póg mo thóin”-ings ‘til the bloody cows come home. No disrespect to my snake-shy friends across the sea, but even if half the English people who drank green beer a month and a half ago came out today in celebration of their own nation it would be a turn up for the books.

Anyway – I’ll shut up now lest I get a splinter in my toe from jumping up and down on this soapbox and wish you a happy St George’s Day. No fireworks, no barbecues, no days off work. I celebrate my heritage in the best way I know how.

1 people had something to say about this...:

Tanya said...

you're the best! I love the new adornment :) Wow..that sucks that no one cares about the big day over there...especially no holiday from work!!?? What the?!