Canada for Beginners, eh?

Patriotic Blenz Coffee advertisement in Vancouver

The decision to move to Canada was a spontaneous one. Just graduated from uni, no job in sight, head over heels in love with that guy from my last vacation – everything was possible and there was nothing to lose. So, I packed up my things and made my way to a new home. There were few concerns on my mind, since I had lived in the States before and had patches from over 30 countries on my backpack – trophies of a typical millennial life. Canada would be a piece of cake, I was sure of that. Of course, things turned out differently. Continue reading “Canada for Beginners, eh?”

The Common Good – two roads, one goal /English

Street art in Vancouver

Volunteering is very much part of Canadian culture. About half of all Canadians donate their time to charity. In Germany it is just a quarter. Volunteers support nurses in hospitals, practice reading with students, and clean parks. They give advice to lost tourists at the airport, show theater-visitors their seats, organize fundraisers for cancer research, and make sandwiches for the homeless. They sacrifice hundreds of hours of their free-time to turn home into a better place. In many ways, volunteers drive Canadian society. Without them, Canada would be a different place; less art, less social services, fewer inviting public spaces, and more poverty. Continue reading “The Common Good – two roads, one goal /English”

The World needs more Canada / English

Merchandise for Canada 150.

Today is Canada Day and the country is celebrating its 150th birthday. For many Canadians this anniversary is a special one to commemorate. The marketing of the maple leaf is a common sight year round, but these days it has reached a near frenzy. A world famous hamburger joint is carrying a maple leave in its golden arches, a life insurance plan is advertised especially for ‘proud Canadians’ and the tagline of a chain bookstore proclaims ‘The World needs more Canada’. With Canada’s birthday just around the corner it has even published a book of the same title, in which famous Canadians explain why their home-country is the best place in the world. The origin of this tagline is highly official: The government used it in the 1990s as part of its tourism campaign. Today it’s a bestseller. From wall hangings to beach towels, no desire for patriotic products remains unsatisfied.  Continue reading “The World needs more Canada / English”