Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Canadian Roots

Beach Toes
Originally uploaded by Tracie Milner.
Gary and I went to the Aboriginal Film Festival at the Opera House on Saturday. It was a day well spent for sure. They showed all sorts of short films made by aboriginals from countries around the world. There were quite a few from Canada which I have to admit I enjoyed the most. Not so much because I'm biased, but mostly because I got the jokes. One of the films called "Wapos Bay: There's No 'I' in Hockey" I thought was especially good. It was a claymation movie about kids preparing for a hockey tournament. They had a spoof of Hockey Night in Canada with announcers "Ron MaCrane" and "Don RedCherry" who were so funny. Gary and I were laughing so hard and when I sort of came to consciousness I realized that out of the whole theatre we were the only ones laughing. No one else got it. Just us.

Anyway...it seems like such a small thing but that incident has triggered a three day thought process that I can't yet really put into words. When you move to another country I think at first it's exciting. Once the excitement settles but you haven't yet become accustomed to the way of life you get homesick. I passed both those stages a while ago and I think I'm now in the stage where I've been living here nearly a year and I'm starting to forget little things about home. I remember for example when I first started working in hospitals here I was constantly comparing them to home and I was sometimes frustrated with how things were done here. But a few months ago one of the nurses I worked with asked me what the differences in nursing were between the two countries and I found it hard to even remember what it was like back home. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when I really stop to think about Canada and when I remember things from home, I become very nostalgic and I find myself really starting to look forward to going back.

Watching those short films maybe conjured up some feelings of belonging somewhere and feeling like you fit in and you 'get' the jokes. One of the films in the evening was an Aussie film and there were a few times when the audience went crazy cheering at things I wasn't quite sure I got.

It has made me think that this is probably one of the big reasons people are drawn back to their home town or home country. They 'get' it...they fit in...

Maybe that's not a huge realization but it's not something I've really thought about until this weekend. When I first got here I think I thought the main differences between our countries were language (mostly slang and expressions), driving on the wrong side of the road and the healthcare system. But over the year less obvious differences have become apparent...things like our values and beliefs. As an Albertan I have grown up with a sort of right-wing-work-hard-and-reap-the-rewards-and-screw-the-little-guy attitude. Aussies however seem to have a fundamental belief that all things should be 'fair' for everyone. I won't go into it but suffice it to say that as an Albertan this is sometimes very annoying. I wonder what it will be like when I get home. Will my beliefs be have changed ? Will I still feel like I fit in there ? I don't know...

I wish I could more be a bit more eloquent in this discussion...My head has really been swirling these past few days though. I have a whole new empathy for immigrants that I never had before though. It can be hard sometimes getting used to not just a new country or language but a whole new attitude about life and what's important and what's not.


Anonymous said...

Love your toes. A Jackie special? Reminds me of July 1st in Raymond. Mom

Tracie said...

Jackie ?? Don't you recognize Megan's airbrushed handiwork ?