Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I just miss it.

Being fifth-generation Canadian, I can't lay claim to any other culture, and the one I knew is vanishing from my home city.

I know that change is inevitable and necessary. I have been thinking about the fact that the culture I grew up with has been largely taken away so that those who grew up in other cultures can live here more comfortably. Not that everyone is comfortable, or that I'm suffering; I know there is still far too much intolerance and discrimination here, and not enough freedom. I acknowledge fully that this is truly a multicultural city, and the majority should not feel uncomfortable in it because it is dominated by one particular understanding of culture.

I just miss it.

The Bishop was our preacher the Sunday before last, and reminded us in his sermon that 50 years ago, religious leaders were consulted about many political decisions. Two thirds of Canadians attended church, the school day was begun with the Lord's Prayer, and a new building was never consecrated without prayer. There was no Sunday shopping, and children weren't involved in team sports on Sunday mornings. Well, you know what? It was very much like that here even 20-25 years ago, and I remember it. Sunday shopping was not available city-wide until 1991, when there was a referendum question on it that we voted on in the municipal election. Certainly there were no charity runs and marathons that began Sunday mornings and shut down parts of the city! (Just the odd religious parade, true enough...)

That was the Toronto I was a child in. It is gone, and that is that. I can cling to some of it by choosing what I do and don't do on Sundays. But if I put on blinkers and choose to avoid daily activities on Sunday, I will lose out. Our children will lose out. So it's go-go-go, every day. If you wish to be a practising Christian in Toronto, you must do it on your own time.

Fair enough, I say. I acknowledge that. I rejoice in multiculturalism! So does the Bishop, for that matter. I just miss what I understood Canadian culture to be when I was young. I want it all - I want to enjoy other cultures without having to relegate mine to the nostalgia drawer to evade criticism! But then, change and I have never gotten along, and that's usually my problem.

Time for some old-fashioned values. I'm watching Family Guy. :p


Anonymous Kelly said...

... which, ironically, is on Sunday night :P

But yeah, I hear you though on how things have changed. Especially when it comes to common decency and public behaviour. I hate how people see nothing wrong with spitting in public. Kids seem to be brought up without any manners -- pushing, shoving, hollaring, etc. And I never would have gotten away with the lip and attitude I hear some 10 year olds mouth off to their mothers with.

Plus I just read about 2 teens who assaulted a bus driver because they got on the wrong bus! That's insane!

Sometimes I think that in the process of trying to accept every single other culture out there, the things that have made ours unique has gotten shoved into the back corner with the dust bunnies :(

October 27, 2005 10:44 a.m.  
Blogger Mrs. M. said...

I miss common decency too, but now folks feel like they can do no wrong. Heaven forbid anyone be accountable for their errors - like those kids on the bus - or actually apologise.

A livejournal friend of mine described Toronto in her comments as a tossed salad. It is that, and a tasty one! I just feel like I've been picked out of the salad - like there's no room for my old way of life in Toronto's version of pluralism.

October 27, 2005 1:26 p.m.  

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