canada, a nation of opportunity

The first of July is a day of reflection and celebration. Whether you are a citizen, a refugee, a permanent resident or a student, today is a day to reflect upon the great nation in which we live.My middle-class parents and I immigrated from Hong Kong to Canada when I was at the tender age of 3. Canada welcomed us with open arms and opened doors to opportunities we never thought was possible. Despite the up’s and down’s, my parents worked very hard, each and every single day, to give me the best upbringing possible. I grew up in Canada, I went to school in Canada, and currently developing my career in Canada. Without any hesitation, I can proudly consider myself a Canadian first, before all else. I feel very lucky to be living in a nation where democracy is practised freely without doubt and violence. I feel very lucky to have grown up with people from all over the world, of all colours, of all sexualities, of all political stripes, and of all religions. I feel very lucky to be a citizen of a country where I can determine my own destiny, succeed, and learn from my failures with peace and without repression. As Canadians, we certainly don’t express our patriotism as outwardly as our gracious American neighbours. Why? Because I believe our patriotism and our love for our nation is intrinsic. This past weekend was Pride Week in Toronto for the LGBT community. Three days later, we celebrate pride once more, this time as Canadians. Happy Birthday Canada! I will forever be grateful.PHOTO CREDIT & SOURCE: Official Canada Day poster by 15 year old Allison Forseille of Saskatchewan (