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Canada's Identity Problem

That is the beauty of myth, it transcends those rational limitations. Still, since the romanticized myth is so much a part of "Canadian-ness," one cannot simply slough it off as an enjoyable fantasy, or relegate it to second-tier status in terms of cultural consideration. Hockey may be a sport, but it is more than a game.

Hockey is probably our only universal cultural symbol. It is universal not because every Canadian has played the game... But even those who haven't played hockey... nonetheless relate to the game. They know what it is, connect it to some context, and have some feelings about it. The point is not whether hockey is the world's best, fastest or most barbaric game; nor whether we are the best in the world at playing it. The point is ours (Salutin 293).

Ours. We Canadians have a serious identity problem when it comes to assessing what is ours. Is ours an Anglo-oriented, high-culture, non-violent culture? Or is it a violence-prone, lumpen proletariat amalgam of immigrants - led by a Francophone minority that threatens secession at every political turn? Hockey, like Canadian identity, reflects this cultural schizophrenia like a mirror ready at hand.

Hockey, from its very inception, shared with the ordinary Canadian an ambiguous relationship to the concept of "our" identity. There is no questioning the fact that it grew out of p


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Canada's Identity Problem. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:33, October 25, 2014, from
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