Members of the BuzzFeed Canada Community recently shared with us a singular and memorable moment when they felt the most Canadian.
From far and wide, funny and heartfelt, ridiculous and tear-jerky, the range of responses were 100% Canadian:
1. The very polite New York minute.
"In high school when my class went to New York for a drama trip — and of course being a tourist we were shopping near Times Square — someone had cut in front of me in line and I didn't mind, I wasn't in a rush. The cashier stopped and looked at me and said, "You are DEFINITELY not from around here are you?" And I said I was Canadian and they said, "I KNEW IT! You were too damn nice just now. We don't see that too often."
Submitted by My-Tien Nguyen.
2. The bloody apology.
"I'm Canadian but live in the UK. I was in the ER with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and in the process of losing 4L of blood. By this point I was quite ill and only partially aware of what people around me were doing, so I kept apologizing to the nurses and doctors ...as you do. Eventually the doctor looked at my husband quite concerned and asked if I always apologized this much (he seemed to think it might be a symptom of something else). My husband just replied, "Don't worry, she's Canadian."
Submitted by k8conway.
3. The Calgarian way.
"During the Calgary floods, seeing strangers from all walks of life come together to help those in need. Spending endless hours in sewage filled basements of people they didn't know, gutting, cleaning, sweating, just to help those folks move on with life. Nothing was asked for in return. Just laughter, tears and community."
Submitted by kellyl4c24d7a86.
5. The canoe.
"The day my canoe got pulled over by a Provincial Police boat. Not so much proud, but I felt Canadian as hell."
Submitted by Colleen Bedford, Facebook.
6. The Canadians abroad.
I was walking around Florence years ago and (accidentally, of course) bumped into another person. We both apologized to each other and I remember saying to my friend "they must be Canadian" as we walked away. We both turned around to look at them, and lo and behold, they had "Canada" on the back of their jackets.
Submitted by Molly Smith, Facebook.
8. The small McDonald's gesture.
"I witnessed this lady in line at McDonalds [standing] ahead of this really rough, dirty-looking guy. He was homeless. I heard her tell the cashier that she would like to pay for a combo meal for him. She immediately left, and when the homeless guy received his meal, he had the biggest smile on his face.
I love Canada."
Submitted by brighterbolder.
9. And the bigger community-wide one.
"In my hometown of Ottawa, Daron Richardson (daughter of Luke Richardson, NHL hockey player) died of a suicide attempt in 2010. After her death, our community rallied together and with the help of her parents we were able to start a charity that raises money and awareness to help combat mental illness. Never have I felt more proud of being Canadian than when I saw our town come together like that and stand behind a cause."
Submitted by kritis4f679c54c.
10. The early mistake.
"As a four-year-old in daycare I licked a metal fence post in the dead of winter during recess. That day I earned my Canadian passport."
Submitted by laurat4a3d23b73.
12. The warm welcome.
"My dad is in the Canadian military so we lived in the States for 10 years straight. We moved back to Canada and the first place we went to was Tim Hortons. We still had our Alaska license plates on, so when we went through the Tim Hortons drive through the car behind us paid for our order and told the cashier to welcome us to Canada. I've never been more happy to be back in Canada."
Submitted by alexiab4a4637628.
13. The faux Canadians abroad.
"When I travel and I see Canadian flags sewed on backpacks and when I begin conversation, I realize it's an American who wanted to be nicely-welcomed abroad. (Sorry for my english I'm a proud French-Canadian)."
Submitted by karinee.
15. All of the winningness of the Winter Olympics.
"The night Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada at the Olympics and we won gold. I was living in downtown Toronto and I HEARD the uproar from outside. Then I went out and people were basically dancing in the streets, high-fiving strangers (I got a ton on my way to the bar). It was great!"
Submitted by Samantha Elizabeth, Facebook.
"During the last Olympics in Sochi when the gold medal hockey game was on at like 6 a.m. our time and I got up SO early to go to watch it at a friend's place with a big group. The best part was getting in my apartment elevator and walking in the streets and seeing SO MANY other people up and with jerseys on — at like 6 a.m. on a Sunday — for the same thing."
Submitted by our own Political Reporter Emma Loop.
"It was the final hockey match of the 2010 Olympics, and I was stuck on the skytrain in Vancouver. Since we were underground, reception was pretty bad, but one guy was able to get (a bit unsteady) feed of the game to his phone. So there's everyone, complete strangers, sitting together in our cart, staring at this little iPhone. We won. And the cart went crazy, strangers hugging, singing the national anthem, dancing with each other. That moment I felt truly Canadian."
Submitted by mattys417b8c128.
19. The simply proud.
"I am an athlete on the Canadian Paralympic Boccia team. Every time I put on my uniform, a sense of pride fills me to have the maple leaf on my chest. Being at the top of the podium, hearing "O Canada" play makes me well up every time. There is no greater feeling than representing my amazing country."
Submitted by RugbyRoller.
20. The almost trampled.
"When I almost got trampled by a moose. I was 5, wandered off, saw a moose, and decided to try and pet it. My dad had to pick me up and sprint away while the moose looked on."
Submitted by rohaneomer.
21. And "where to begin?" We stand on guard for th'our own.
"Where to begin? When I went to Europe and had elderly strangers thanking me for what our country had done for them in World War I and World War II.
Or when Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was tragically murdered and an entire nation mourned together, and did our best to honour him together.
Or, of course, when the Golden Goal was scored in 2010, and you could hear the roar from coast to coast.
Or when I went to school in the States, and when crossing back over the border officers would say "Welcome home".
Canada, and Canadians, stand for serving our neighbours, at home and abroad, and stand together, always."
Submitted by Adam Veenstra, Facebook.