Celebrating CANADA in China

From Coast to Coast to Coast….even to the other side of the WORLD as far as CHINA!!

Chinese people LOVE Canadians! Especially Chinese people my age and older. When they  meet you they first ask if we are American. We say no. We say we are Canadian and a big smile comes on their face. Oh….Canada!!!

Do you know why?

They ALWAYS ask…”Do you know Norman Bethune?” I say yes. ( I have realized I MUST know my history of this guy living in China)

Norman Bethune

Henry Norman Bethune, surgeon, inventor, political activist (born at Gravenhurst, Ont 3 Mar 1890; died at Huang Shiko, N China 12 Nov 1939). Bethune’s fame in China as a Canadian has resulted from his status as a hero in the People’s Republic of China and the impact of this on Sino-Canadian relations.

Seems that all Chinese people my kids’ age, my age and older study about Norman Bethune in school. If you are a Canadian living in China then you BETTER know a little bit about him!!

A little history…

Norman Bethune followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and became a surgeon.He interrupted his medical studies in Toronto to serve in 1915 as a stretcher bearer in WWI.

Following a stint in the Royal Navy, postgraduate training in Britain and private practice in Detroit, Mich, he was found in 1926 to have contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. After this personal crisis, he devoted himself to other tuberculosis victims. 

Between 1929 and 1936 he invented or redesigned 12 medical and surgical instruments and wrote 14 articles describing his innovations in thoracic technique. He became increasingly disillusioned with surgical treatment and concerned with the socioeconomic aspects of disease. He challenged his profession and proposed radical reforms of medical care and health services in Canada. After a visit to the Soviet Union in 1935, Bethune joined the Communist Party. This commitment took him to the Spanish Civil War in 1936, where he organized a mobile blood transfusion service, the first of its kind, to operate on a 1000 km front. He returned to Canada in 1937 to raise money for the antifascist cause in Spain and soon turned his attention to the war being waged by communist forces against the Japanese invaders in China. “Spain and China,” he wrote, “are part of the same battle.”

Bethune left Canada for the last time in 1938 to join the 8th Route Army in the Shanxi-Hobei border region in China. There, he was a tireless and inventive surgeon, teacher and propagandist, and he adopted the cause and the people as his own. His accidental death from septicemia evoked Chairman Mao Zedong’s essay “In Memory of Norman Bethune,” which urged all communists to emulate his spirit of internationalism, his sense of responsibility and his devotion to others.

One of three prescribed articles during the Cultural Revolution, the essay made Bethune’s name synonymous with Canada in China!!!!

That is why Chinese love Canadians and that is always the first question I am asked.

But Canadians celebrate Canada because we LOVE our country!

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

We are so thankful for freedom, for religion, for wars not being fought on our homeland, for wealth and riches and abundance and development and education and opportunity and healthy environment and…well the list goes on…we are a blessed nation, a blessed people!

Doing the red and white thing…

Wu ai has EVERYTHING! Aren't these great!!
Wu ai has EVERYTHING! Aren’t these TOMS great!!

Our flag hanging in our China apartment. Next year it will hang in Canada 😀



David worked today. Canada Day is NOT a holiday in China, haha but we enjoyed some delicious eats when he got off work.

For Canada Day, I always like to make strawberry shortcake ( you know red and white) but strawberries are just not in season here now and they are either not good, hard to find or two expensive at an import store. So…Cherry shortcake it is! Oh and hamburgers ( I wish we could grill them) and watermelon.

IMG_1936 IMG_1939

IMG_1949 IMG_1947

Happy Canada Day! TODAY in China we will wear our colors proudly! We are from Jiānádà! 

Enjoy all the celebrations at home!


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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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