Crows, dandelions, and raw fish


It takes all kinds to make a country like Canada.  To make a nation out of different peoples, one has to appreciate and understand difference.  I can list many examples.  Here are a few.

I was interested reading a couple of letters on this paper about crows recently.  Let me voice another view point:  In Japan, crows are loved as the birds that are seen as kind and faithful creatures, and they are plenty.  Crows are very family oriented, they mate for life, and they are smart.  Being brought up in Japan, I don’t understand why they are disliked in Canada.   I think crows get the bad press here.  A species that is disliked in one culture can be loved in another.

Before sushi became an integral part of the North American conversation and diet, many people used to think that it was an uncivilized barbarism to eat raw fish.  Many European explorers, Englishmen and Vikings who came to Canada and Greenland might not have to perish if they ate raw fish and meat like the Inuit.  

When I lived in Vancouver soon after I came to Canada, a bunch of Italian children came one day to ask if they could dig up dandelions in my shamefully unkept front yard.  I had no idea then Europeans loved dandelions in their salad.  Later in my life, when I lived in Switzerland,  a family of Swiss friends and I used to go to a pasture in France to collect soft and juicy dandelions.  An article in April by a famous Montreal chef of a high class restaurant “Toque”, Normand Laprise, on the Globe and Mail, extort the virtue of dandelions, for its gastronomical and nutritious values in salad.  It is believed that it was the British Army that brought dandelions to the North America.  I heard that dandelions saved many soldiers’ lives in the spring, of those who survived scurvy during the winter when there was no fresh vegetables.  I love the slightly bitter taste of young and tender dandelion leaves.  You have to harvest them before they blossom.

Canada is a nation of many peoples with many cultures and traditions, and we are proud of it.  It will be good if we learn from difference, appreciate it and adjust the familiar views of things         accordingly.  When we do, we will make our lives richer.  We may find ourselves better equipped to survive in turbulent times.

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