What do we mean when we hector someone to “be Canadian”? Play hockey? At least watch it, preferably on a couch with a beer in hand? Or, in Quebec, eat poutine and listen to Céline Dion? What else? If one can’t catalogue it all, how can we implement it?A front page article in the Globe and Mail reveals that, in fact, hockey may be "a great uniter":
As a little girl, Farah Sleiman would listen from her bed as her father and brother watched the Montreal Canadiens on television. It was 1991, and the entire family of immigrants from Lebanon were one year into their grand Canadian adventure. Hockey was a key part of the introduction.
“I didn’t understand anything, but I knew we were cheering for the team in white,” said Ms. Sleiman, now 24. She has since shelled out hundreds of dollars to attend Habs games, and often teaches the game to newcomers. She says the appeal of hockey is simple. In a place like Montreal, “The city is hockey. You are either a fan, or you are an outcast.”
Today, Ms. Sleiman and other Arab Canadians rate among the most passionate hockey fans in the country, second only to Italian Canadians...Better hockey than jihad, eh?