Onboard the Citizen Ship
So one fine morning, not very long ago, I pledged my allegiance to the Queen by raising my right hand to affirm my loyalty to the Crown and became a Canadian Citizen.
I was instructed to bring along a religious book of my choice, but as an agnostic with serious mood swings into atheism and back, I decided my word was good enough for the King and the Country — and the honourable Canadian Justice system agreed.
People were accompanied by friends and family who cheered and took photographs. As a solo participant, I smiled politely at everyone and laughed occasionally to the judge’s quips during the inaugural pep-talk.
Then we all merrily sang along the Canadian national Anthem. There were no milk and cookies, sadly.
I guess it’s not everyday one becomes a citizen of a new country of one’s own choosing. And the occasion demanded that I capture the event by giving it my sincere respect.
So, as a matter of true pride on becoming a Canadian, and after singing the original anthem for many a times ever since I was required to remember it for the Citizenship test, I finally decided to write an alternate, immigrant-friendly, belief-independent, gender-neutral anthem, just to commemorate the occasion. I know they did try to make it gender-neutral recently without success, but mine, of course, is much better and expandable (naturally!)
Onward through the fog!
A journey that began with an impersonal A4-size “We are pleased to inform you that your application for permanent residence has been accepted” letter years ago to receiving shiny Canadian Citizenship Certificates, congratulated by a regal judge and a pretty clerk in a grand courtroom with a group of people from more countries in the world than I can possibly remember.
As the Tao saying goes, the journey is the reward, so does the voyage of a Canada Immigrant continue as he graduates from being a new Canada Immigrant on A Canada Immigrant’s Blog, to a Canadian Citizen on A Canada Citizen’s Blog.
First Published: May 31st, 2010