Knit Meter

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why Did You Pinch Me?

Last Wednesday was St. Patrick's Day. Which seems to be celebrated more outside of Ireland with many large North American cities having parades. There is also the ancient custom of inflicting pain on a person who does not wear green on that day. The first I had ever heard of this was when someone actually pinched me at work for not wearing green. In the litigious world of the US I should have sued them for physical and mental pain. Being British I had never heard of this let alone believed that a grown woman would pinch a temporary member of staff.

Fast forward a few years to Calgary, Starbucks and knitting group on 16 March. Discussion about what people would be wearing the next day, when our American pops her head up from her knitting on DPNs (we are so proud of her) and wants to know what the crazy canucks are talking about this time. It turns out that this east coast girl from Maine had never heard of wearing green and being pinched if you don't.

The next day at work I carried out a random survey of one and asked a guy, originally from Toronto, if he knew about the wearing of green and being pinched. He'd never heard of it. So is this something that started in the mid-west and spread west or did it start on the west coast and is spreading east?

Of course, like most traditions, no one knows how this started and the opinions on the internet range from it being started by school children to being a political statement.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Olympics, Canada and the National Anthem

Well that's it for 2 years. The Olympics have finished. As they were in the country where I live, there was 24-hour coverage and I could watch most events live. Normally I watch NBC's Olympic coverage as I have found it to be superior to other networks but my feed was from Seattle, which didn't start until 9.00 in the evening (they had some daytime coverage). So I'm sorry Bob (Costas) I didn't get to watch you this year. Hope to see you in 2012.

There was much blogging and online news articles about the organization of the events. Many of them having no idea of the history of the Olympics and using their electronic forum to mis-informatively rant. For example, there was the English-speaking Canadian complaining about Michaelle Jean speaking in French at the opening of the games. And, of course, complaints about practicing. All I can say, is read your history before complaining.

The other interesting aspect of the reporting of these games were the complaints about Canadians celebrating. So many other nationalities took offense to Canadians celebrating when a medal was won. I didn't get that. Are other countries allowed to celebrate wins but Canada isn't? The Olympics were held in Canada, were the regular citizens expected to carry on with their lives and ignore what was going on in Vancouver/Whistler? it was as if the foreign press and bloggers had a picture of Canadians and when they didn't conform to someone else's expectation they were vilified.

If you have never been to a sporting event in Canada, you cannot imagine what it is like to hear the National Anthem. Everybody sings it, and they mean it and believe in their country. They know they live in the best country in the world. And sure if you want to move here we'll make you welcome. It is very hard to describe the atmosphere if you have not experienced it. And that was the one thing that the non-Canadian announcers deemed OK for the Canadians. You can celebrate Gold only by belting out your National Anthem.