The Canadian Press has picked up on the fact that although there are many Canadian wines available at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, there are only three Canadian beers (– and hardly the finest that the landmass north of the 49th has to offer: Molson Canadian, Alexander Keith’s Ale or Blue Light.) Considering that
I’ve been at two soirees at the Washington Embassy this year – and many at the Canadian High Commission in
So, this got me to thinking as to the subtle ways nations represent themselves abroad: food, drink, background music, etc. This is different, I think, from deliberate cultural representation where embassies and governments sit, choose and plan what events they will put on display – such as exhibitions of native arts, traveling national symphonies, ballets and operas, etc. Rather, it’s almost the unintended representation which may speak volumes about a country.
During the Bush years, the American Embassy in
But let’s bring it back to more pleasant things – like coffee and donuts. Perhaps even more important than flack-jackets to Canadian troops is the Tim Hortons, the beloved Canadian chain of coffee stands (even mentioned on How I Met Your Mother) put in Kandahar to boost troop morale. (It might be the one thing that unites all Canadians.) The coffee stand has, apparently, also been attracting troops from different countries, eager to try a “double-double”.
But this seemingly works for other nations as well. In his book, The Interrogators, Chris Macky, frequently spoke of his desire to go to the
Is this form of cultural diplomacy, discussions over donuts in