Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hockey without skates! CRAZY!!

“The fact that we have South Asian players on our team should be said and should be told, but it should be told in the right context — 98 per cent of our players are Canadian-born and raised.”
Ajay Dube – Canada’s Olympic field hockey manager.

When you live in a hyphenated society issues of national identity can become confusing. Canadians are taught to equally be proud of their Canadian-ness and to embrace their cultural roots. It’s a unique outlook on the world and one that can cause 6th generation Canadians to somehow become prouder of the fact that their great-great-great-great-grandfather was born in Dublin than they are of the fact that he bravely picked up and left his home country to build a better life of opportunity and equality in a new land.

Somehow it isn’t cool to be Canadian (unless you are backpacking through Europe and don’t want to be called American). While there is a lot to like about multiculturalism, a sad side effect of an otherwise good policy is that many Canadians ignore what is wonderful about this country while focusing on romantic notions of the old world.

However, there is a sub-group of Canucks that are able to hold on to warm feelings about where they came from and fully express their pride in Canada and appreciation for the opportunity this country has given them—new Canadians. Especially new Canadians that have the honour of representing Canada in a sport.

Think Daniel Igali, Samuel Dalembert, Arturo Miranda and many more. You can add the members of the men’s field hockey team, a team that actually has reason to be bitter about their treatment from national sport authorities (they are partly paying for the trip to the Olympics out of pocket).

Many of the team’s players may have brown skin and deep roots in India or Pakistan, but they are proudly Canadian. So much so that when their manager was asked to describe the team’s style, he didn’t point to an example from South Asia, where the game is huge. Rather, he compared them to a “team Don Cherry would love.”


1 comment:

sager said...

What's crazy is we're in the Olympic field hockey tournament and I believe India didn't qualify.