Every morning after the bell sounds the speaker system blasts out Oh Canada through the school.
My 4yr old had been practicing at every hockey match and when I visited her in class, proudly belted out as much of the anthem as she could.
When we got home she informed me that it wasn’t just because I was there, but they did it every morning! This made me chuckle.
She then went on to tell me that everyone has to stand. They don’t all sing, but they are to stand and be quiet. Difficult task, for a class of 30, 4 and 5 year olds!
She then let me know that they all like to take part except one little girl that stays sat down.
I explained that other countries have different cultures, customs and beliefs. That seemed good enough for her.
I was though shocked at the response of the adults in the room, that were genuinely appalled that this little girl didn’t stand and honor the anthem. They felt that she should be forced to join in. The thing that makes Canada such a great nation is its diversity. It’s ability to have so many people from different background cohabiting peacefully.
This little girl who is 5 years old, doesn’t try to stop anyone else from singing the anthem. She doesn’t talk or interrupt the daily ritual. She does not talk about why she is not joining in. She quietly sits and acknowledges that this is very important for everyone else in the room.
I truly believe that if you move to another Country you must absolutely abide by its laws. I do feel that you integrate better by accepting and adopting local customs, but I don’t believe in forcing your opinions on anyone that’s why we have a democracy, so people have some say in what is going on.
Am I wrong to think its ok for this 5yr old to observe? I’m sure her current beliefs are modeled on that of her parents. At least right now she is being exposed to other customs etc and then later she can make an informed choice…