On July first, Canada Day, we went down and took in the big show at Canada Place; fun was had. We’re officially and as a matter of record here in Canada supposed to be about multiculturalism and any idiot can see we’re multiethnic, but that doesn’t actually mean we’re eating off different tables or listening to different tunes.
The event left a powerful impression on me. But first let me say that it was well-done; don’t know by whom, but I admire them. There was music and humor and tasty food and places to dance and things to see, with a reasonable mix of public-spirited idealism and fun-for-fun’s-sake.
You’d have to be blind and deaf not to think “Wow, sure are a lot of ethnic groups here.” It being Vancouver, a majority of them come from around the Pacific. But this being a tourist town, there are variations on the theme. Consider this photograph.
The flames-on-beams visible at the left are not just any old fire because the beams are where our Olympic Flame lived while Vancouver-2010 was on. I’m not sure what they mean now, but people like to have their picture taken in front of them, so I did.
Here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure that the three people on the left side are 100% Canadian, while the white folk on the right are Eurotourists.
While we’re doing pictures, I think this one speaks for itself. I think it worth enlarging.
It occurs to me to wonder whether basic Royal Canadian Mounted Police training now includes strategic makeup deployment.
But I was walking around looking at everyone, eating my mini-donuts and souvlaki sandwich, and thinking that we’re all choosing from the same menu.
On the day, my favorite selection was Five Alarm Funk, a bunch of Vancouver boys laying down the hot Afro-Cuban beats, and if that seems a little incongruous you haven’t been here. They’re good.
Give me a resident of Vancouver and I’ll give you someone who may have any skin color you can possibly imagine but has a whole lot of experiences shared with other residents which I’ll spare you the cliché’d list of but include certain hockey players and Asian cuisines and permanently-festering political issues (including both narcotics and homelessness) and commuting options and real-estate pricing.
At the most basic possible level, all this shared experience is leading to an intensely-shared gene pool; we’re interbreeding furiously not just in Vancouver but pretty well everywhere in the former colonies round the Pacific.
At the end of the day, whether we’re talking food or marriage partners or comic books or City Council, we’re all in the same restaurant eating off the same really-big buffet, and more or less everything’s on it. Maybe it’s as simple as just reducing friction, and here in Vancouver (and maybe ’round most of that Pacific Rim) we’ve pretty well taken it down to zero.
I wouldn’t live anywhere else.