She is from Iran. Her family moved here six or seven years ago. She would have been about 14. We talked a little bit about Iran. I happen to know a bit about Iranian art music because of a composition teacher I had once. He was Hungarian, but was so fascinated with Iranian music that he learned Farsi and spent a term there in the mid 1970s.
The subject changed to travelling to foreign countries. I'm used to taking for granted that North America is 'racist.' After all, I hear about how racist things are here almost every day. So, I was a little bit shocked to hear that she considered Canada a model country in that respect.
"Iran has so much racism and prejudice," she said. "Here I have friends of all different races and religions, and everything is peaceful." While Canada does have serious racial problems, and as a Westerner I am very aware of them (Native Canadians tend to live very poor lives indeed in Northern Saskatchewan,) it was still gratifying for me to hear that it's not all bloody hell over here.
I am a patriot and I love my country. Sometimes it's easy to look at it in a bad light, but today I was reminded how lucky I am to live here, and how proud I should be.