Article by Manisha Krishnan, Vice News
I’ve spilled a fair bit of ink discussing the ways in which I sometimes feel out of place in Canada and also diving headfirst into Canadiana in an attempt to remedy that.
My latest hoser venture involved going to a “bongspiel” aka a weed-centred curling tournament in Wiarton, Ontario—a small town of about 2,000—in the dead of winter. Wiarton, for the uninitiated (like me) is known for Wiarton Willy, a groundhog who does his thing on Groundhog Day in an annual ceremony that seems to be the talk of the town. To be totally honest, I didn’t even think groundhogs were real creatures until I visited this town.
My experience with curling is limited to one time in 2010 when I went as part of a team building exercise while working for a community newspaper in North Vancouver, BC. There’s a photo of me looking very serious and ugly, wearing a obnoxiously big toque while lining up a rock (I still don’t grasp the mechanics of curling).
I always assumed curling was a bit dull—not unlike Canada itself. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the sport is a source of national pride, something we regularly dominate during the Winter Olympics. Another very Canadian thing about curling is that it goes hand and hand with boozing—a Canadian team featuring an Olympic gold medal winner got booted out of a bonspiel in Red Deer, Alberta last fall for breaking broomsticks and cussing while wasted.