Posts Tagged With: celebration

25 Things I Love About Canada


It’s hard to believe my country will be 150 years old on July 1st. I feel privileged to be around to witness this milestone. In fact, this will be the only big Canadian birthday that many of us will be around to experience. When Canada reaches its bicentennial in 2067, I will be in my eighties (if I’m lucky to live that long). Only our children and grandchildren will shall be fortunate enough to witness Canada’s big 2-0-0!

I’m proud to be Canadian. On July 1st, I will walk around wearing a Canadian flag like a cape. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing that day. I wish I could be in Ottawa with the masses for the big fireworks, but sadly that will not be possible. So in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, I’d like to share 25 things I love about Canada. I wanted to share 150 things, but I realized that I would likely repeat myself, and while 150 things is great, it’s a pretty long list! I’m sure your eyes would be glazing over after 50 things!

So here it is, 25 things I love about Canada:

  1. Diversity
  2. Democracy
  3. Tim Horton’s coffee
  4. Vancouver – my all-time favorite Canadian city
  5. Pierre Elliott Trudeau – probably our greatest prime minister!
  6. Snow
  7. International food in grocery stores
  8. The wilderness
  9. Alexander Keith’s beer
  10. People waving car flags during the European Championship and World Cup
  11. Ketchup chips
  12. Salmon
  13. Michael Bublé
  14. John Candy
  15. Hockey
  16. Maple syrup
  17. Government regulated salaries
  18. Roots clothing
  19. Rideau Canal – the world’s largest skating rink
  20. CN Tower
  21. Niagara Falls
  22. Toonie (our two-dollar coin)
  23. Mr. Sub (Canadian version of Subway)
  24. Canada Goose (the bird, not the parka)
  25. How we embrace newcomers and let them be who they want to be!


Happy birthday Canada!!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , ,

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo the Right Way

Cinco de Mayo. Mexican skull in sombrero holding rose teeth. Greeting card template. Isolated on white vector illustration

Well I’ll admit that I still haven’t figured out why everyone celebrates Cinco de Mayo. However, being very interested in the Hispanic culture and language, I’ve noticed that many people celebrate it similar to that of St. Paddy’s day. Only people don sombreros and the occasional serape whilst drowning in Coronas and margaritas. If “Kiss Me, I’m Mexican” shirts were annually sold for the occasion, I’m sure they’d sell out in no time.

But Cinco de Mayo holds a special place in the Mexican community. Whether we love or loathe their presence in the United States, we should be extra sensitive to their traditions. With the frayed relations between the U.S. and Mexico (Trump wanting to build a wall along the Mexican border), we should show solidarity to our Mexican neighbors.

So here are a few alternative ways to celebrate El Cinco. These tidbits are courtesy of a poster I saw in the student center of my college last year:

Educate yourself – learn about the history of Cinco de Mayo and how it became a part of U.S. pop culture. Acknowledge the stereotypes you have internalized and discover why they are problematic.

Support AUTHENTIC Mexican businesses – forget Taco Bell, Don Pablos, Chipotle and other “Tex-Mex” chains. Try a family-owned restaurant run by actual Mexicans. These aren’t hard to find, especially in the larger cities. The food will be more authentic, lines and standing-room-only will be nonexistent.

Celebrate responsibly – no serapes, no fake mustache, and avoid those party stores. No “Cinco de Drinko” nor disrespectful use of Spanish. And hold your friends accountable when they do any of these.

Donate to organizations working for immigrant rights – support these organizations because they work to ensure that immigrants receive their rights to live and work in the United States. Find an organization in your community that does this, and even volunteer for them if you can.

Mexican immigrants are not here to steal American jobs. They come here because living conditions back home are so deplorable, they simply must leave in order to seek a better life. It pains many of them to leave behind their families and homeland which they have grown to love. They are willing to do the jobs most Americans wouldn’t: washing dishes, cook, clean hotel rooms, landscaping, the list goes on.

So celebrate this holiday by showing respect to your fellow “brothers and sisters” and you’ll be glad you did.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , ,

St. Paddy’s Day Drink Idea: Black Velvet



Ah St. Paddy’s Day is upon us again. Time to dress up in green, don the “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirts, drink green beer til we pass out and can’t remember a thing the next day until we gape in horror at the pics on social media.

Well forget the green beer this Friday (as well as overdoing it). Instead, why not try a Black Velvet. What is it exactly? It’s a half alcoholic cider, half Guinness. Go to any British or Irish pub, and ask the barman for one, and you won’t be disappointed. What kind of cider should you get? I recommend Strongbow like the one in the photo. Strongbow is a British cider, which is not too sweet but rather tangy. But why a British drink when we are honoring an Irish saint? Well, believe it or not, but St. Patrick was actually British and was brought to the Emerald Isle by pirates. So as he was Irish with British roots, wouldn’t it be nice to have a drink with the same nationality mix? I think it would!

Don’t plan on hitting the pubs this St. Paddy’s Day? Not a problem! This drink can be enjoyed at home. Just follow these easy steps:

What you will need
– a tall can of Guinness
– a tall can of Strongbow or other cider
– a pint glass stored at room temperature
– a tablespoon

  1. Fill the glass halfway with cider, and allow the fizz to settle
  2. Hold the tablespoon over the glass, and pour the Guinness onto the spoon so it will cascade into the glass to be mixed with the cider. It is important to pour the Guinness slowly so it trickles into the glass. The idea is so that it does not directly mix with the cider, but rather it should sit on top of it.
  3. Allow the surge to settle, then serve.

As with pouring a regular pint of Guinness, you want to make sure there is a good head on top. The one I poured is rather mediocre. Ideally, you want the head to be an inch thick.

So give a Black Velvet a go this St Paddy’s Day, and as always enjoy responsibly.


Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , ,

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