Changing the dream of the north

In tonight’s Winter Olympics Closing Ceremonies, we saw, heard, smelled, tasted, felt the dream of the north shift. From our traditional Canadian stance of modesty and self-deprecation, we shifted into claiming the gold of self-identity – an identity that transcends and includes the nations of the world.

The presence of 2600 athletes from around the world, was in many ways indistinguishable from the presence of all the nations of the world who are the citizens and the fabric of our country. But emerging from this external mosaic of multi-culturalism was an internal trans-ethnic cultural sense of our self as a world of nations in our one nation.

The sense of one-ness came not from melding our differences into some homogenous blend but of boasting about our hybrid roots and welcoming the world not as strangers but as relations. The featuring and honouring of our First Nations was symbolic of recalibrating the oldest cultures with the most recent ones.

Canada all of a sudden finds the dream it has had of the north, to be one that reflects the whole world because it emerges from the energy and cultures of the whole world. The pride looks on the outside like patriotism — and in many ways it is — but it is a patriotism that comes from opening with delight and surprise to accepting who we have become. It is as if our nation has claimed a sense of purpose in serving the world by recognizing how much we are capable of. If we choose to struggle together, honour each other, compete with respect, learn from each other and embrace differences that make a difference, we believe we can create a new dream. But this is not just a new dream of the north, this is the new dream of the world.

By |2010-03-01T05:20:13+00:00March 1st, 2010|Spiritual intelligence, Storytelling - Cultures|3 Comments

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  1. Beth Sanders March 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    There is something striking about a country that welcomes the world in the spirit in which Canada and our First Nations did. The international media are noticing that it wasn’t just the Government of Canada that welcomed the world – which is so often the case. The welcome was from our wonderful people from all over the world. I heard a media report about Yonge Street in Toronto after Sunday’s hockey game win – it looked like the world was on the street.

    Canada’s dream – for Canada and the world – is about how much can be done when fully in relation with each other. Is struggle, with honour, in competition, in learning, in loving differences, there is a wonderful dream to behold.

    • marilynhamilton March 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      You remind me that even from Day 1, our Governor General opened the ceremonies — someone who embodies a dream of the world realized, because of her birthplace of Haiti. So she was visible (has a black-skinned person ever opened the Winter Olympics before). And our First Nations peoples were in both positional and cultural interpretation presence on Day 1 and Day 17 and Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Even the visible ethnic/racial differences of our athletes was also apparent. In many ways this was a Four Quadrant All Levels Olympics.

  2. Albert Klamt March 21, 2010 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Exactly. And it was wonderfully evoked by the opening poem of Shane Koyczan:

    We Are More


    Greetings, from Berlin

    Albert Klamt

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