To Cheer or Not to Cheer, That is a Fear

Is it safe to NOT cheer for Canada?
Rahman Mohamed

Hockey male-femaleIt’s confirmed.  Canadian Men and Women have been eliminated from the hockey finals in PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.  Even though hockey is the Canadian sport and Canadians have a 6-month practice season, the men and women have both been held back from Gold.  Despite a nail-biting end in a shootout Canadian women were kept away by the detested Americans; they will return North with Silver around their necks.  A loss to Germany in the semi-finals has sent Canadian men to the Bronze competition with Czech Republic.  Gold-Silver will be a battle between Germany and Olympic Athletes from Russia.  The question now: if you’re a Canadian are you allowed to cheer for the opponent?

In 2016 Statistics Canada counted 35,151,728 living in Canada (people not polar bears).  In terms of Ethnic Origin 6,436,940 claimed only Canada; 4,699,030 claimed multiple ethnic origin, Canadian and something else; the rest claimed something else as their ethnic origin.  569,655 claimed German; 2,752,750 claimed multiple (German-Canadian or German and something else).

In the North there’s nothing considered wrong with not claiming Canadian as ethnic origin.  After all, the fact that so few Canadians claim only Canadian gives Canada the right to claim a diverse society and culture.  The question for the 3,322,405 Canadians claiming German related ethnic origin: should a Canadian with German roots roar for Team Germany with a beer or cheer for Team Canada with a coffee?

Of the 41.1% total who claimed multiple ethnicities, 43.1% claimed “Other North American”, not Aboriginal.  If someone is an American-Canadian should they go to Starbucks for the Gold Medal game or go to Tim Horton’s for the Bronze Medal game?

The easy answer: cheer for all (never for America).  Not only that, 2.1 million (6.2%) of all Canadians claimed Aboriginal ethnicity or multiple ethnicity with Aboriginal.  Statistics Canada (2016) reported that persons claiming multiple ethnicities in long-time settled groups (North American, Aboriginal, European) is growing because of marriage and common-law relations; on the other hand recent immigrant groups (Africans, Asians) claiming multiple ancestry is still small.  No matter when the cheer for goal comes the watchers of the Men’s game are likely to have a Loonie (Canadian teams probably didn’t bring any Loonies or Toonies with them.).  The Germans have experience in the chug; they did invent Oktoberfest.  Neighbours to Germany, Czechs likely learned a thing or two before moving to Canada.  The bigger question: have Americans learned how to roll the rim (not likely).  Don’t worry, rivalries don’t hurt.

Whether they’re German, Czech, American, Indian, Australian or Aboriginal, no matter who the Canadian is cheering for the true Canadian will watch the medal games even if there aren’t any Maple Leafs on the ice seeking the puck to score to reach the top of the podium; Germans and Czechs will teach Canadians the proper way to chug while Americans learn how to roll from Canadians.  Torontonians are saved from being forced to choose a between a medal or season Maple Leaf game; at 7am they can watch the Battle for Bronze and pray for no Maple Leaf misery at while dining on a cultural meal and a side of poutine at 7pm.  Immigrants often settle in urban areas; food and the puck are sacred and inseperable for Canadians.

A strong cheer test approaches as India and Canada prepare for the field hockey final in Japan 2020 just before Canada races the British, French, Germans, Americans, and South Africans on the same day.  Canada is not a regular in the FIFA World Cup; with 1 appearance (Mexico 1986) featuring 3 straight losses to France, Hungary, and USSR Canadians have often supported their ethnic backups.  Hungary didn’t make the top 20 in 2016 Canadians’ ethnic claims; French were fourth; Russia was 16th.  Today sitting 89 overall, Canada is rising in the ranks and is determined to be seen in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  There are even talks of an appearance in the finals with China or India (Asian is considered the largest area in multiple ethnic claims.).  The true question: is anyone willing to risk cheering for the Northerners as they kick a ball instead of shooting a puck?


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