중앙데일리

No mudwrestling, but plenty of rain

July 04,2007
Lee Ae-kyung celebrates her win of the grand prize round-trip ticket to Vancouver on Canada Day at Nanji Camping Ground. By Richard Scott-Ashe
For all its attributes, Canada is not a country known for its balmy climate. From the frozen east to the rain-soaked west, the second-largest country on the globe is lucky that it has some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, because it also has some of its most miserable weather. So, when the monsoon season brought rain to Seoul on Canada Day last Sunday, it was not a big issue for hardy expats and locals ready to celebrate what it means to be Canadian.
“I’m from northern B.C. [British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province] and this is a typical summer day for us,” said Harold Armstrong, lead singer of the featured band Human Traffic, the house band at J.J. Mahoney’s bar in the basement of the Hyatt Hotel. “Canadians don’t mind getting wet, and Canadians don’t mind getting dirty.” Human Traffic played tried-and-true favorites, managing to keep a good portion of the bedraggled crowd out from under the tents and sloshing around in the mud.
The Canada Day party is an annual event arranged by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea. It is one of the few foreign national days celebrated with such public gusto. This year the party was at Nanji Camping Ground and featured typical summer games like frisbee. There was a raffle and good old-fashioned barbeque.
Lee Ae-kyung, a Korean, won the grand prize of a round-trip air ticket to Vancouver. “I love Canada!” she exclaimed as she bounded onto the stage to claim her prize.
Kim Nami, a Korean who graduated from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, helped organize the party for the Chamber of Commerce. “Canadians know how to have fun and relax,” she said. “We have a Korean Day, too, but we just stay at home. Canadians get together and celebrate with other people. I really respect the Canadian spirit.”
It was a sentiment obviously shared by the many beaming locals who could be seen enjoying the selection of Canadian beers and participating in the games.
“Canadians don’t complain about small things. Even though it rained today, many people came,” she said, estimating the number at around 700.
How would the Canadians be celebrating if they were at home?
“I’d be at the beach,” said Amanda Doucet, a Nova Scotian in full red-and-white face paint.
“I’d be drinking,” said fellow face-painted Nova Scotian Colette Nickerson, “or mudwrestling.”


By Richard Scott-Ashe Contributing Writer [richard@joongang.co.kr]



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