Canadian National Identity Essay

Pages: 7 (2555 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Sports  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Until this there was no other identity Canada had, except being called as a British colony. As stated by Grant, the intention of many Canadians was to have a different identity from United States, in terms of religion, education, politics, and socialism (Grant, 1965).

As Canadians were searching for a different cultural identity, Hockey provided a platform for it. It was begun when the Canadian team competed in the Vancouver Winter Olympics. It unified the whole nation, and the Canadian team grabbed recognition from throughout the world. Ice hockey is a traditional game, played by men, and since it has masculine roles, it simultaneously attracts other men as well. This role played by Ice hockey is crucial, as it contributed a lot in creating a separate identity of Canadians, which is clearly visible from just a single game. As stated by Allain, Ice hockey is the masculine sport as it includes a huge amount of aggressiveness, and the Canadians are very good in playing it (Allain, 2011). It made Ice hockey a significant part of Canadian cultural identity.

Keating (2010) found hockey to be far more than just another sport by calling it next to religion for the people of Canada. He argues that the 33 million people of Canada, who usually get divided in terms of language distinctiveness and political differences, are again unified by this sport. He further states that hockey defines the Canadians' identity, which is moving forward as it is removing sex barriers, and women are getting involved in it as well. According to him, hockey is in the blood of the Canadian generations since there was no television and they used to listen to the program Hockey Night in Canada on radio. Now the medium has shifted from radio to high definition television, but the tradition continues.

The role of hockey in building up Canadian identity is affirmed by a number of local novelists. It was called as national drama by Morley Callaghan and the dance of life by Bruce Kidd and John Macfarlane, as stated by Keating (2010). He further states that Canadians have an emotional attachment with hockey; as every generation has played a role in it. A child learnt hockey as soon as he learned to walk, while older people played it till they were deceased.

With respect to the history of hockey in Canada including early days of hockey and children following it, a book is being written by a hockey historian and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, affirmed by Keating (2010). This book includes the adventures of an imaginary hockey team known as the Screech Owls, which solves cases of murders and crimes, like the stealing of Stanley Cup. According to Keating (2010), hockey presents an aggressive image of Canadians, who are often considered gracious, as per the statement of novelist Hugh MacLennan.

Roy MacGregor is a famous Canadian hockey writer who wrote number of books including 24 books of Screech Owl. According to him, hockey is everything and far more than a game for the people of Canada. Keating (2010) states that hockey is the image of Canadians, and they are recognized with it across the whole world; it makes them feel proud when they win in this sport. They always want themselves to be recognized through this game. They want to make Canada and hockey interrelated terms. The intensity of association that they preserve with hockey can be understood by the instance when in 1998 "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky led the team in the Olympics for the very first time, and they did not succeed in getting a gold medal, the whole nation of Canada got disappointed and experienced serious misery the months to comes. This explains the level of significance this sport has in the life of Canadians. According to Keating (2010), Hockey Summit was formed for analyzing the game of hockey from every dimension in order to maintain the transparency and accuracy. It was formed after the loss of Nagano, which was a burning discussion topic throughout the country including House of Commons.

Canadian Hockey Tournament is considered as a privileged and unforgettable event in Canada, which is not only worth-seeing for the thrilled audience but also worth seeing for the extreme pressure and unrestrained excitement for 23 specially selected players; which, sometimes prove to be a downside of the game (Keating, 2010). Keating (2010) mentioned that according to Johnny Misley, Canadian Executive vice-president of Hockey, pressure is always there in every tournament irrespective of whether it is an under-17 tournament, Spengler Cup or World Junior leagues, excitement to win gold is always there to keep a constant unavoidable strain on every participating team.

It is also stated by Keating (2010) that Canadians love to win gold and they play for this every time, believing that to play Hockey is a privileged and honorable task for Canadians.

Hockey is not only played as a game in Canada but it is considered a prestige (Keating, 2010). The anxiety is not only faced by the team members but the whole Canadian Nation sentiments are involved in it.

References

Allain, K.A. (2011). Kid Crosby or Golden Bow: Sidney Crosby, Canadian National Identity, and the Policing of Hockey Masculinity, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, .46: 9.

Bissoondath, N. (1994). Selling Illusions: The Cult of Multiculturalism in Canada, (Toronto: Penguin Books, 1994), 4651.

CANOE-CNEWS. (2004). Father of medicare, greatest: Douglas tops CBC-s canuck debate," CANOE-CNEWS, accessed March 20th, 2012 from: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/Canadiana/2004/11/30/741515.html

Grant, G. (1965). Lament for a Nation, (Toronto: The Canadian Publishers), 2.

Ibbitson, J. (2005). The Polite Revolution, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.), 56-93; esp. 57.

Jackson, s. (1994). Gretzky, Crisis, and Canadian Identity in 1988: Rearticulating the Americanization of Culture Debate. Sociology of Sport Journal. 11: 428-446.

Keating, S. (2010). Ice hockey is more than a game to Canadians. Accessed March 18, 2012 from http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/02/10/us-olympics-icehockey-canada-idUSTRE61913G20100210

Kymlicka, W. (1995). Multicultural Citizenship, (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 97-98.

Nater, J. (2011). The Wrath of Grapes: Don Cherry and the Militarization of Hockey. Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA) Annual Conference. Wilfrid Laurier University. Waterloo, Ontario.

Nixon, H.L. (1976). Growing up with Hockey in Canada. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 11: 38.

Potter, A. (2005)."Introduction, in Lament for… [END OF PREVIEW]

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