Saturday, February 27, 2010

Joe and I went down to the cauldron today. It was 10:30AM on a Saturday morning and there were hundreds of people and a two hour wait to get to the unobstructed viewing platform. Not worth the wait so we just had to deal with across the street or fence views. (The photo above was taken through the fence gap.)

As we were walking to the cauldron area we came to the space between the Shaw building and the new Fairmont and caught our first view.

The word "wow" popped out of my mouth before I could stop it. I didn't think that I would feel anything upon seeing it, but it was a sight to behold.

The masses moving along West Cordova were mostly Canadians, with quite a few Americans & smatterings of Italians, Poles & Russian soldiers/sailors. What struck me about the crowds wrapped up in their red maple leaves was the diversity. Every race, every shade within those races, accented English, accented francais. It was incredible to see the great mosaic that we talk about as a theory or an ideal laid out before me. Sikhs with red turbans and maple leaf pins, young Islamic women wearing white with red maple leaf hijabs, an American couple with their three kids in Team Canada jerseys, the gay couple wearing their rainbow Canada flags as capes.

While I don't even pretend to think that Canada is "post-racial" and that we're some awesome utopian land of equality, tolerance and fraternity, for 17 days in February, 2010 in Vancouver, BC - Canada was pretty okay with being Canada - and the definition of the Canadian soul as something that it is, rather than something it is not, became just a little less vague.

For now. Come Monday we'll be back to our hand wringing, navel gazing selves when the UK Guardian spits it's last bit of vitriol our way over the closing ceremonies.

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