Greetings from Spockgirl Musings, where logic rules, but the frailties of
human nature, genetic inadequacies and hormonal imbalances wreak havoc.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I am Canadian

You are ten years old and were born in the country in which you live, but your parents were born somewhere else. They have lived in this country for three decades, and have become citizens in this country. It is home. War breaks out on another continent, and the country which used to be your parents' home enters the war, on the wrong side. You and your kind are deemed to be a threat to national security, so the authorities take away fishing boats, property, homes, livelihoods, etc. and you and thousands of your kind are rounded up, detained in livestock stalls, and then sent to "internment camps" in different areas of the interior. Your movements have been monitored, your mail is being censored, and you aren't allowed to have a radio because it might be used to communicate with the enemy. The war ends, and your family has the option of moving farther east in this country or being deported to a country that is no longer their home.

That was close to 65 years ago, and I don't believe kids learn about it in school, and no one ever talks about it. So.... who were those people? and why did they come back?

I was born in this great country, as were my parents, but my grandparents were not. I am Canadian damn it, I just happen to look Japanese.


Southern Class said...

Spockgirl, what a great post! I am an old coot, (High School Class of 1958). From the 9th grade on, I was madly in love with one "Barbara Tanaka". She was absolutely beautiful in my eyes, and she didn't even know I existed. She too was born on this continent, of parents that managed to stay out of internment because the local people sort of hid them out. They were a very successful vegatable farming family. Many many Americans, as well as Canadians, (and not only the liberal apologists), are deeply regretful that our countries chose to take the internment route. I am not ashamed that it happened as I had nothing to do with it, but I am regretful that so many fine people had their patriotism questioned, and it cost them so very much, both in money and in pride.

Spockgirl said...

Thanks for reading this one too. Yeah, wow, you are an old coot.
I have actually been thinking about writing on the matter of patriotism or national pride, from my own perspective of course, as it is as pertinent today as it was during WWII.

Inner Prop said...

I've known about the US camps, but I didn't know Canada lost her mind that way too.

From what I've read in the US it seemed like the General in command of the west coast was a bigot and no one else felt it necessary to reign him in, in fact they went along with the whole thing. I can't think of a single more shameful act my country has ever done.

I'm always amazed by the patriotism shown by those citizens who have not gotten the best from our country. I'm ashamed and proud of these units and those patriots. Ashamed of course, but proud of them and of a country that can, even at her worst inspire such love and devotion.

Spockgirl said...

Inner Prop:
Thanks for popping by and commenting.
Another interesting tidbit is that there were about 200 Japanese men living here who volunteered to fight on behalf of Canada in WW I, but they were refused in this province, so they went to the next province over to enlist, and did end up fighting in Europe. I haven't seen much information though, other than that the guys who survived weren't granted the right to vote until I believe 1931. I wasn't really planning on looking into this in detail, but I occasionally stumble across bits and pieces here and there. Fascinating stuff.

Robert Craig said...

My grandfather had a similar experience. He moved to Canada from Poland and when the second world war broke out joined the Canadian army. He married a Scot but could not return to Poland as it had been taken over by the Soviets. He never saw his homeland again.

War throws up paradoxes like this... like John Rabe, the 'good nazi'.

Spockgirl said...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit. It is absolutely bizarre that I had in the last while been finding Polish AND Scottish blogs, and then you mention your Grandfather. I hope you have written about how he met your Grandmother, which I take was during or after the War.

I did not even know that John Rabe was German. At the time I read about it I was probably too busy processing the horror to pay attention to his nationality.

As a note of interest, I did expand a tiny bit on the "I am Canadian" piece here.