So I’m Canadian by birth. I went to primary and intermediate school there before moving to New Zealand with my family some 20+ years ago (it was ages ago ok…).
Inevitably this means I have a bit of an accent. Sometimes it’s obvious sometimes not so much. I get asked if I’m British or Irish some days, others people ask if I’m American (the horror!). Some go with Canadian instead of American because it’s “safer”. Once my origin story (maybe there’s a movie in that, it worked for Wolverine right?) has been established the next question is generally “Do you get back home much?”.
The concept of “home” is an interesting one.
Canada is my birthplace, a place of glorious childhood memories, an indelible part of my DNA. I love Hockey (the real one that you play on Ice, not on grass), I can drink Maple Syrup by the litre (yeah, Canadians are metric too…), and I don’t often get cold (maybe that’s just me). “Oh Canada” will always be the anthem I associate with and makes my heart swell with pride, the crisp red and white of the Canadian flag always calls to me louder than the colonial mish-mash of the New Zealand flag. Snow is awesome and so is camping in deep forest around cold lakes (mosquitoes and leeches at no extra cost). I hold a Canadian Passport. I am polite, and I apologise – in fact most Canadian stereotypes seem to be mostly rooted in reality.
So yeah, a fairly large part of me is Canadian and always will be.
New Zealand is the only country where I went to college (high school), learned to drive, crashed a car, worked (and, sadly, paid tax), voted, fell in love, got married, owned property, reared children, broken bones and, and, and… The list goes on and on.
NZ is most definitely my home, how could it not be?
It helps that Kiwis and Canucks are, at their core, such similar peoples. Both cultures share a common root (those bloody Brits), with a dash of all sorts thrown in over the years. Both are good-natured, easy-going nations that everybody else can’t really help but to like. They are both great at the things that they care about (Ice Hockey and Rugby) and share liberal and progressive views on potentially volatile and divisive topics (same sex marriage anybody?). They have both thrown their middle fingers in the air at the Yanks (Canada remains the only country in history to invade the US and burn their Capitol to the ground, New Zealand taking a hard line stance on Nuclear Free policy in the 80’s – #pubquizanswers). They both like to have a laugh, a drink and just get along. If you had any doubt about it read up on the Hans Island “conflict”.
So when people ask me if I get back home much the answer is generally:
“Yeah, I try to get back there every day!”
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