Somewhere in between the War of the Roses and the War of 1812, it got sorted out that those, those.. people...who didn't end up on God's fair isle were fated to go to that vast empty Hinterland beyond the realm and across the pond to preserve His (or Her) Royal Majesty's majesty. And they gave their word to do so with appropriate decorum and dignified deportment.
It was further decreed that the Masses of the Hinterland (MoH's) would not bump into people, pets or inanimate objects. And if they did so, they would say, " I'm sorry." And, if the people, pets, or inanimate objects bumped into them, then the MoH's would say, "OH! I'm sorry!"
In the event of a disagreement with anyone about anything, then the MoH must quickly defer, and say, "Oh.Well then. Of course, you must be right." And if, in the rare circumstance, that it was absolutely certain that the MoH was indeed, right, then the MoH must say, "Oh dear. Well, I am sorry. But, uh, I am right. Sorry!"
We're such a sorry lot. Why people from away even make fun of us for saying sorry so much, for being so friendly, so polite, so forgiving. Not for us the dropping of a ball at midnight, nor the thunderous ride through tiny towns with a lantern. Nope..too attention-getting. Too dramatic. Too much like a TV mini-series.
No, we didn't run with bulls anywhere, either. (Rode them, yes, but only when at the Calgary Stampede.) But we did name a chocolate shop after a woman who did try to warn HRM's troops about a possible invasion from below the 49th parallel. Laura Secord is sweetly remembered every Easter and Mother's Day in The Hinterland.
And when Nature is your daily guide, over time you learn to take note and you start to see things a bit differently.
No. We don't do self aggrandisement well. We may brag from time to time, but it's usually not about the nation as a whole, it's about individual accomplishments..like Terry Fox, Wayne Gretzky, Shania Twain, Guy Lombardo (yes, sorry, he's Canadian), Alexander Graham Bell (ring a ding ding), Dr Banting (insulin treat for your diabetes), Thomas Edison (light's on), John Hopps (please tell airport security if you have a pacemaker), Peter Robertson (screw this in tight), Gideon Sundbeck (here, zip me up please)..and of course, things like Canada Dry, Canadian Club, Poutine and Beavertails (yum to the last four). And Blackberry (not the one you eat, though, there's a thought)
No, we don't like to show our official colours (red and white) because we are so much more than that.
We are not four but many.