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Saturday, July 1st, 2023

Ottawa, Ontario

I will be hopping from one nation's capital city in Canada to another's capital, Washington, DC, in the United States, and doing so for the same purpose in both locations – to celebrate the birthdays in both countries.

Today was Canada Day – all day. According to the white colonists, Canada was born in 1867. Our First Nations people may have issues with the birth of this nation as much as having an issue with the USA’s Independence Day. Let us at least recognize the stewardship of the Indigenous population of the continent and its operations for thousands of years.

Next to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Hare Krishna devotees from Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto converged to do what we like to do, and that is to celebrate with mantra music and dance. It was primarily youthful energy that dominated the scene. The public was quite taken by the exuberance of a patriotic party that carried for hours, even after the heavy rains came, or more accurately, during the rains. We were soaked. That moisture from the gods inspired everyone all the more.

Prominent colours were the red and white. One man draped in the flag danced forever, and when given the mic for a word, he said, “I’ve been all around the hill, checking out all the streets and exhibits and people, and your corner is just the happiest.”

In the words of our guru, Prabhupada, “Chant and be happy.” And that, to my knowledge, is the way of the Indigenous folks – celebrate with the Great Spirit.

5 km
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