If my Google Analytics stats are to be believed, almost half of the people reading this post today are American. In fact, roughly equal numbers of Canadians and Americans read Strocel.com. This makes me happy, when I think about it, because I like the cross-border relationship that it represents. It reminds me that while there are differences between Canadians and Americans, we share far more in common.
Today, of course, is the 4th of July – a day when Americans celebrate their independence. I just got back from spending 72 hours in the good old USA, and I had a front row seat as Northwestern Washington State prepared to celebrate. Fireworks stands stood at many major intersections. Red white and blue festooned checkout lines at Trader Joe’s. Posters at the corner store announced the local “Old Fashioned 4th of July”. T-shirts on display at Target displayed patriotic slogans and glittery US flag motifs. You could tell that a party was in the offing, for sure.
When I visit the US, I always make it a point to search out the things I can’t find at home. Tillamook cheddar. Trader Joe’s and their delectable dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Cheap kids’ shoes at Target. Charleston Chew candy bars. Organic milk at prices that seem ridiculously inexpensive to my Canadian sensibilities. In a way, you could say that I’m celebrating our retail differences. But just like here on this blog, the truth is that in every way Canadians and Americans have far more in common than not. These similarities transcend geography, politics and which department stores you can find at the local mall. I’d like to take a moment today to highlight some of these similarities.
Celebrating American and Canadian Similarities on Independence Day
- The United States and Canada share histories as English colonies, as evidenced by the fact that English is still spoken in both countries today.
- We share the world’s longest land border between two nations.
- We have co-existed peacefully for the past 200 years.
- As nations, we both value freedom, as evidenced by the American Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
- Our nations cooperate economically, diplomatically, militarily, and in many other ways.
- Most of our popular culture is shared. We all watched Friends, and we all crack Justin Bieber jokes.
- Both nations value democracy and fairness.
- We share many people, as we move back and forth across the border.
- Many political movements span the border, as Americans and Canadians work together to create positive social change.
- Those of us who were born here are very fortunate to have our first homes be places where we have many privileges afforded to us, and many opportunities available to us.
I’m sure there are many other similarities – maybe you can help me out by sharing a few more. And a very happy Independence Day to all of my American friends!