Wednesday, March 09, 2011

“Culture in a box”

My culture is a mix of two really, Irish from Prince Edward Island and Acadian from New Brunswick. Canada is considered the "patchwork quilt" next to the "melting pot"of the USA. So I would include three songs in my box (as a singular trio) which tell some of the stories of my ancestors and Nova Scotia or "New Scotland" one of North America's oldest provinces. Second is a Bay of Fundy Lobster and third is The Mountain and the Valley a book by Ernest Buckler considered one of Canada's most iconic novels.

1. a. Marie-Jo Thério, sings Evangéline which is an Acadian song that celebrates the woman of the same name and her incredible story first recounted by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and credited with causing a resurgence of interest in the history of The Acadian Expulsion in 1755. Grand Pre National Historic Site is just down the road from my hometown and where my mother worked for ten years as a tour guide. Mom and Marie-Jo are both from New Brunswick.

1. b. Stan Rogers sings Bluenose and it would be hard to find a more iconic topic to describe Nova Scotia or Maritime Canada as a host of three small seagirt provinces: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Bluenose is a famous Canadian fishing and racing schooner which can be found on the Canadian dime. However it is his song Turnaround which combines video footage from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope which seems to tell the story of the force and nature of my Canadian culture wherever we may find ourselves.

1. c. Stompin Tom Connors sings Bud the Spud from Prince Edward Island and tells the unalloyed story of PEI Potatoes surely some of the best in the world thanks to "The Bright Red Mud."

2. Bay of Fundy Lobster are a favourite Canadian snack and make great impressions world wide. You get to see where I used to work in my last job in Nova Scotia in this video.

3. The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest Buckler is a book which paints the period rural lifestyle prevalent in my part of Canada with symbols and patterns repeated throughout most Canadian literature. If there is one fictional book to read which tells the story of Canada and Nova Scotia then this may be the one.

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