Citizenship Ceremony at the CBC
Mohamed Nawas from Sri Lanka recites "The Oath of Citizenship" yesterday at the CBC building in Toronto.
Yesterday, in a citizenship ceremony at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 271 people became new Canadians. Over 90 countries were represented in the crowd and the ceremony was presided over by MP Diane Finley, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
My family immigrated from America when I was a toddler so this was my second citizenship ceremony, the first was for my own (and my families) back in 1994. It's kind of a dull event really, long speeches about what it means to be a citizen, some history of Canada (that was entirely repeated in the two speeches we all heard yesterday), some description of what is expected of a citizen.... stuff left for a text book or a propaganda film.
What is exciting though, and well worth the wait, is the last 20 minutes of the ceremony when they must recite the oath of citizenship, shake a judges' hand, receive a citizenship card and sing the national anthem. It doesn't sound like much, but as I learned yesterday, it's a beautiful thing to watch someone become a citizen. I talked to a few people about where they were from, saw the excitement in their face, but what I'll never know is what it took to get them there, how long they've been trying and what it actually means to be Canadian.
I'm only from America, but I got to say, I'm appreciating my Canadian citizenship more and more everyday.
Photo slide-show after the break.
In case you are wondering what kind of test you need to pass before you can become a Canadian citizen, CBC made a sample quiz.
Did you know that Canadian citizenship is only 60-years-old? Before 1947 Canadians were simply considered British subjects. The Canadian Citizenship Act was introduced on January 1, 1947. It defined a Canadian citizenship and was the first commonwealth country to do so. Pardon my history, it's potentially completely wrong, but check it out, it's kind of true.
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