English Language

O Canada

A striking feature of Canada is that it has the largest number of lakes and reservoirs than anywhere else in the world. Canada has the 3rd largest number of glaciers after Antarctica & Greenland. 31% of its land is under forest cover, which extends right from the Tundra region to the Prairie region.

In the year 1867 a conference took place somewhere in London in order to ponder and decide upon the name of a newly born nation in the western hemisphere. 85 years before this meeting, the United States of America was born after a war with the British. This very piece of land was sought after by the French and British forces who waged many wars since the 16th century in order to seize it. The British had colonised most of this region and were considering unifying it in order to establish their existence on the global map but what should be the name of the new nation was the principle question. For this purpose various suggestions were made. For instance ‘Anglia’ meaning England’s Latin name in the middle ages; ’Albionoria’ which was a name derived from Albayan, which was originally used for Britain; ’Borealia’, which was a Latin name derived from the word Borealis, which means the Northern direction; ’Mesopelagia’, which means a land between two seas; ‘Victorialand’, which was a word derived from the Queen’s name; ’Ursalia’ since a large number of bears are found here and many other such names were suggested but ultimately the name ‘Canada’ was agreed upon by a majority of the people and ever since then this region came to be known as Canada. Now where does this word ‘Canada’ originate from? Well, the answer lies in the year 1535 when a French explorer who went by the name Jacques Cartier who, while asking for directions from the tribals in this region, heard the word ‘Kanata’ from them. In the local Iroquoian language this word means a ‘village’ or a ‘settlement’.

 

A nation which was named after a tribal word which meant village, Canada today is the second largest country in the world. Not only that, it is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in the west, the Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Arctic Ocean in the north, which has ultimately given this nation a coastline of 2,43,000 kms. As a result of this, the tagline of this nation is ‘A Mari Usque Ad Mare’, which means ‘From sea to sea’. One more striking feature of Canada is that it has the largest number of lakes and reservoirs than anywhere else in the world. Of the world’s total fresh water reserves, 20% are in Canada. The western part of Canada comes under the belt of ‘The Pacific Ring of Fire’ which is a volcanic belt. As a result of this, Canada has more than 200 active volcanoes. In the same way Canada has the 3rd largest number of glaciers after Antarctica & Greenland. 31% of its land is under forest cover which extends right from the Tundra region to the Prairie region. As a result of it a great biodiversity is found in this region. The American Bison, Beaver, Canada Lynx, Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear, Mountain Lion, Reindeer, Walrus, Whale etc. can be found here. In addition to that the Banff & Jasper National Park are world famous national parks located in the Canadian Rockies. Nature has gifted Canada with a treasure of natural resources. Canada leads the world in the mining of Uranium and is the second largest oil reserve after Saudi Arabia. Canada is also enlisted amongst the richest countries in the world and is one of the top 10 countries in terms of Business. Canada has established strong ties with its neighbour-The USA.

 

The friendly relationship between Canada and USA is so well defined that both of them possess the longest ‘undefended’ border. Since there are no feuds between these two countries, there is no need for them to try and defend their borders from each other. However, Canada has all the three groups of the military. Although Canada’s affairs are handled in a democratic mode of administration, constitutional monarchy also exists side by side; hence, dynastic rule has been permitted here. The Queen of Britain is the supreme ruler of Canada. Canada’s population is estimated to be around 3.5 crore people but as a result of the nation’s vast expanse, this population seems scarce. Statistically speaking it is 3.5 people per sq.km. This population density in Canada is the least in the world. Prior to the influx of Europeans into this nation, the people who resided here were known as the First Nations, Inuit and Metis. Today this nation comprises of people from multiple nations & ethnicities such as English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Chinese etc. Before becoming independent, there existed 2 groups in Canada namely-English & French. So even after independence English & French continued to be the 2 languages which continued to dominate this region. Quebec is a region in Canada, which is said to be dominated by French speaking citizens. The diversity of this country received further impetus due to people who migrated here from other countries of the world. People from 200 different countries come to seek refuge in Canada. The Chinese are ranked number 1 in terms of the total migrants whereas Indians are ranked 3rd. Thus, Canada symbolises ‘multiculturalism’ in the world today.  It can also be referred to as a ‘Mosaic of Culture’. Due to all these factors there is a great influence on its traditions and culture in terms of lifestyle, art and food. The primary symbol of Canada is the Maple leaf (Leaf of the Chinar tree). This leaf can also be seen on the Canadian National flag. While they rustle on the trees in spring, they are of a vibrant green colour but their colour changes to red when they fall off the branches in the months of autumn. In a way these leaves retain their beauty even till the moment they wither away. Due to dual language influence, the literature of Canada is split into two languages-English and French. On the international level, the ‘Man Booker Prize’ winner Yann Martel won this award for his book titled ‘The Life of Pie’. Later on a movie based on this book even won an Oscar. Apart from movies being based on books authored by Canadian writers, there is absolutely no dearth of movies being shot here. These movies belong to the Hollywood as well as Bollywood genre of film-making. Right from Rambo First blood-starring Sylvester Stallone to Leonardo DiCaprio’s-Titanic, a large number of Hollywood movies have been shot here. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Twilight, Capote, The Incredible Hulk, The Day After Tomorrow, Brokeback Mountain, Mean Girls etc.; the list is endless. Amongst Bollywood movies- Khiladi 420, Bewafa, Koi Mil Gaya, Neal & Nikki, Pardes, Kal Ho Na Ho, Tum Bin, The Hero-love story of a spy, Taal, Thank You, Apne…etc.

 

Now after knowing that both Hollywood & Bollywood film industries have taken a liking towards Canada to such a great extent, we ought to delve into Canada’s features. Ottawa is the Capital of Canada. When Canada was taking shape as a Nation, the Queen of Great Britain-Queen Victoria was asked to choose a capital. She chose Ottawa as its capital without going for the others in the list which included Montreal, Toronto, Quebec and Kingston. Ottawa is very far away from the American border, it is centrally located when compared to other states such as Toronto, Montreal, Quebec & Kingston. In addition to that transportation can be carried out through this state even in the winter season. These were the factors that were taken into consideration prior to making a decision. Ottawa is the 7th coldest capital in the world. Situated on the southern banks of the Ottawa River, the most popular tourist spot of this place is the Parliament Hill. It is a place laden with Gothic architecture. The 302 ft. tall Peace Tower instantly attracts one’s attention from a distance. This tower has four huge clocks on all its 4 sides, each of which measure 16 ft. in diameter.

 

Canada’s amazing natural beauty can be witnessed in the best way possible in a place known as British Columbia. Situated on the western tip of Canada, British Columbia has a very long coastline and is also blessed with dense forests. Vancouver is a city located in this state and is considered as ‘Hollywood of the North’. This city was born as a result of the ‘Gold rush’, which happened in Fraser Canyon in the year 1860.Vancouver is enlisted amongst the top 3 best cities in the world. The Gas town is an important tourist attraction of this city, which is named after the town’s founder ‘Gassy Jack Deighton’. This town still has the ‘Steam Clock’ of olden times on display. A unique feature of Canada’s breathtaking beauty are its Columbia Icefields. Spread over 325 km, these icefields are situated between the Banff & Jasper National Parks. In order to witness these icefields, tourists flock over to Athabasca Glacier. The Maligne Canyon is very popular amongst tourists in this region. Lastly a trip to Canada is incomplete without a visit to the world famous Niagara Falls. This magnanimous waterfall is so breathtaking that tourists visiting the USA specially apply for a Canadian visa too.

 

This tour comprising of visits to the modern cities of Canada along with its natural wonders can be completed in 14 days with Veena World. For those of you who even wish to visit the snowclad Alaska in the USA along with Canada, then there is also an option of a 21 day tour. ”O Canada! Where Pines & Maples grow, great Prairies spread and Lordly river flows” a description so apt for Canada and an experience for you which will definitely do justice to your expectations of a beautiful tour to one of the most beautiful places on Earth. So come with Veena World, Canada is calling you with open arms.

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