Cultural finds

Protests against the Canadian federal government’s failure to sign the Kyoto accord on the requirement to reduce global warming trends were mounted in cities across the nation yesterday. Here in Halifax, the demonstration took place in what seems to be the traditional protest venue, the front lawn of the Spring Garden Road Library.

I came upon the scene rather from behind, so I could hear the volume of it but at first could see only the dozen older Asians practicing their tai chi on the other side of the lawn, their motions not matching the beat of the protesters.

The lawn is also home to a large iron statue of Winston Churchill, several times larger than life and caught in midstride. The scene, in toto, was the epitome of citizen participation: a statesman remembered, contemporary people of all ages with a united message on the future, the second group harking back to collective exercise of tradition, and the public library itself with all the tenets of intellectual freedom and civic information to which it subscribes. I felt like I’d died and entered a didactic comic book.

Today’s trip to market was less intellectually glorious, but there are some cultural discoveries nonetheless. I can’t imagine how long I shall live here before even considering the option of eating caramel covered cheese. And, indeed, as the business section of the newspaper indicated and my coworkers assured me is the case, milk is sold in plastic bags here.

Ah, the weekend. Waht school child knows that, during adulthood, it can be so educational?

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