Monday, May 11, 2009

Red, White and Blue

So I'm driving north on Bathurst Street (the unofficial/official Jewish thoroughfare in Toronto) late yesterday afternoon, and the farther north I got, I began to hear honking and see people waving flags out of car windows and from sun roofs -- huge flags, medium-sized ones -- and cheering.

When I reached some major intersections, cars began honking at one another in greeting, and people are waving to each other... It was as if they had a secret language, one I was not privvy to.

People at bus stops are waving at each of the cars bearing flags, and vice versa. Fists shoot up in a victorious manner.

And all the while, I'm clueless. What country are these flags from? What is the emblem on that flag over there; which country is that from?
When I reached a certain intersection, where there' s a plaza and large parking lot, I see cars assembled on the parking lot, with flags flapping madly all around.

Was there some sort of international soccer game I hadn't heard about? No doubt there had been some sporting when I reached home, I immediately went online to do my research.

Of course, Russia beat Canada in the World Hockey Championships in Bern, Switzerland.

That was the flag/emblem of Russia I was seeing; the northern neighborhood I was driving in is very Russian-oriented, and they were the people assembled and celebrating in the plaza parking lot and waving from the bus stops.
I can well imagine how many bottles of vodka people went through yesterday in celebration of this sports victory. Although immigrants to Canada, and many of them rather recently, these people still salute the Russian flag and their homegrown winning sports teams.