Oh Canada! Our home and native land…
A dream comes true!
The day of the Oath of citizenship
A significant moment in my life
I am a member of the Canadian family
Today my new family to me say:
Ô Canada! Terre de nos aïeux! …
Un rêve devenu réalité !
Le jour du serment de citoyenneté
Un moment important de ma vie
Je suis un membre de la famille canadienne
Aujourd’hui ma nouvelle famille m’a dit
Bienvenue chez vous !
Oh Canada! Nuestro Hogar y tierra natal…
Un sueño hecho realidad!
El día del juramento de ciudadanía
Un momento importante en mi vida
Yo soy un miembro de la familia canadiense
Hoy mi nueva familia me dice:
Bienvenido a tu hogar!
Ho Kanado! Nia hejmo kaj patrio…
Revo fariĝas realon!
La tago de la ĵuro de civitaneco
Grava momento de mia vivo
Mi estas membro de la Kanada familio
Hodiaŭ, mia nova familio al mi diras
О Канада! наш дім і рідна земля…
день присяги на вірність громадянина Канади
дуже важливий момент в моєму житті
Я є членом канадської родини
сьогодні вони мені кажуть
ласкаво просимо до дому
ای کانادا! ای سرزمین ما
یک رویا به حقیقت پیوست
روز سوگند شهروندی کانادا
روز خیلی مهم برای من است
من عضو خانواده کانادا هستم
امروز به من گفتند
به خانه خوش آمدی
These are the words I used when I posted about my citizenship ceremony in my social media. They were posted in languages I regularly use. I want to express my joy and my gratitude to this great country: Canada.
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia the Canadian citizenship was created in 1947 by the Canadian Citizenship Act. In that same year, in Ottawa, the first official citizenship ceremony was performed. Two important characteristics of Canadian citizenship are: naturalized citizens are equally entitled to the same rights and duties of native-born citizens; Canadians citizens are allowed to hold dual citizenship.
Taking the Oath of citizenship is the final legal requirement in order to become a Canadian citizen according to the website of the government of Canada. The oath can be taken in either English or French. The first part is allegiance to the Queen. Candidates can swear or affirm their allegiance (It will depend on whether the candidate wants or not to refer to their religious beliefs).
The day of the ceremony I arrived early. Once we gathered in the ceremony room, we were conducted to our seats, where we found a folder with a letter from the Prime Minister in English, a Canadian flag and some notes with the written words of the Oath of Citizenship in English and French, and the Canadian National anthem in English, French and the official Bilingual version. A video clip displayed some recordings about Canada and a message from the Prime Minister in English and French.
The clerk of the ceremony explained the protocol and the steps to follow. Once the citizenship judge entered the ceremony started. The judge tried to keep the ceremony in English and French. In the website of the government of Canada, you can read more about the protocol for the ceremony.
After the recitation of the Oath in both languages, we were called to receive the certificate from the citizenship judge. He took a minute to meet each of us personally and asked about what we do. I made a mention of my activities as a blogger. He asked me to write about the ceremony and here is my story.
In a final speech, the judge emphasized the importance of practicing arts to keep and share our multiple cultures, and the importance of protecting the environment.
At the end of the ceremony, we sang the National anthem. I sang it in both languages. It was a very emotional moment for me. After that, we proceeded with our own picture session.
I don’t remember how many countries were represented during the ceremony. What is the truth is that a multitude of languages, at the end of the ceremony, were unified in 2 official languages. We keep our languages, we are encouraged to speak in them and to make them part of this multicultural society. But English and French are our vehicles to share our thoughts with those who speak in a different language.
When I think about my new homeland, I remember the words pronounced by Sir Winston Churchill about Canada. I quote:
“Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. Canada, with those relations of friendly, affectionate intimacy with the United States on the one hand and with her unswerving fidelity to the British Commonwealth and the Motherland on the other is the link which joins together these great branches of the human family, a link which, spanning the oceans, brings the continents into their true relation and will prevent in future generations any growth of division between the proud and the happy nations of Europe and the great countries which have come into existence in the New World.”
—Mansion House, London, 4 September 1941, at a luncheon in honour of Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada.