Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The DNA of Canadians: What makes us? - THE SPEC

by Dave Davis
Originally published: July 4, 2017

It was a young woman who made me start asking the question, 'What makes a Canadian?'

I was interested in where she came from — she and her daughters were visitors to a place in the North End that I know. She was standing in the doorway, her hands in the pockets of one of those puffy quilted coats. The coat was grey, the colour of the chilly sky.

"Where are you from?" I asked, thinking Thailand or Vietnam.

"Locke Street," she replied, or something close to it, a local street anyway.

"No, no, before that," I clarified, smiling.

She repeated the street name. After I rephrased the question, she told me her country of origin — South China as it turned out. Later, on the drive back home, coffee in hand (a Tim Hortons; this is about Canada, right?) I reflected on the woman's response, thinking, How Canadian. And asked the question: What makes us Canadian?