Nationalities, Travel Visas and Canadian Pride

Canadian passport (1993-2002).
Canadian passport (1993-2002). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight I was filling out a travel visa application form.  My first one ever!  One of the lucky perks of being a Canadian:  you don’t often need to get a travel visa to enter countries.

I was actually quite excited about the process though.  Well, not so much the process but the end result of getting a travel visa in my passport.  I am secretly a little jealous of all the visas that Armando has in his passport.  I know, weird. I’m sure if I actually had to get all the visas that he’s had to get, my envy would soon disappear like the money needed to get them.

I just wanted to share a few things on the visa application form that I found interesting:

1.  They asked for my complexion.  Not sure that I’ve ever been asked that on an application form.  Hmmm….rosy pink? Sun-kissed peach?  Better keep it simple.  White.

2.  They asked for my dad’s full name.  Hmmm…what about my mom?

3.  They asked for my guarantor’s name and address in the country that I will be visiting.  Who do I put if I don’t know anyone there?

4.  They asked for my nationality.  Well that’s easy…Canadian.  But this question really got me thinking.  I remember growing up and when I had to write on forms what my nationality was, I would write Ukrainian.  I was raised as a Ukrainian.  In my grandma’s home, the air would ring with Ukrainian chatter.  I would sing Ukrainian carols at Christmas and recite the Lord’s Prayer in Ukrainian at church. I took part in Ukrainian traditions, danced with a Ukrainian troupe for years and ate endless perogies, cabbage rolls and borscht that contributed to my Ukrainian hips.  My ancestors were from Ukraine but I was 2nd generation Canadian.  Yet, I would say that I was Ukrainian.  And if I remember correctly, my fellow classmates would also write Scottish, Irish or whatever background they came from under “Nationality”.  “Canadian” didn’t seem to be an option.  I guess everyone was trying to define their differences and besides, what was a Canadian anyways?  We were taught that Canada was a mosaic of cultures.  I guess we were just signifying which culture we represented and “Nationality” was where we defined it.

Now being older and wiser, I can definitely say that my nationality is Canadian but my Ukrainian heritage has definitely influenced me throughout the years.  And I am definitely proud to be Canadian and appreciate the fact that I don’t require a travel visa to most countries because, heck, who am I going to put as my guarantor on this visa application?

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