A lot of folks pretended they were Irish on Sunday and wore funny green hats and got roaring drunk on green beer and stuff like that.
And a lot of folks didn't. Among those who didn't pretend to be Irish were most folks who actually are Irish or of Irish extraction.
Apparently, they're not crazy about Canadian St. Patrick's Day "traditions."
Hmmm. I wonder why? Could it be that they're not crazy about being automatically being associated with wearing funny green hats, getting roaring drunk on green beer, and stuff like that?
A survey commissioned by Ancestry.ca just before St. Pat's iconic day indicates that about 60 per cent of Irish-Canadians wouldn't be celebrating. (I'm guessing most of them are the ones who are as thrilled to be labelled as hyphenated Canadians about as much as I like being called a "Dutch-Canadian". but more on that a bit later on.)
The Ancestry survey revealed that about a quarter of all Canadians claim to have Irish ancestry. That's about nine million people - and if my calculations are correct, that means somewhere between five and six million people get annoyed every time you put on one of those silly hats and order a green beer (that's on top of everyone you annoy when you get falling-down drunk).
Remarkably, those five to six million people with real Irish association think that things like that serve to under-appreciate the value of their contributions to overall Canadian culture.
Go figure. In fact, a significant number of Canadians of Irish extraction are actually embarrassed by their generally perceived association with shamrocks and leprechauns.
Frankly, I'd be embarrassed, too, by general misperceptions that my ancestry automatically made me a clever lad whose intelligence was mostly geared toward smooth-talking myself out of gainful activities and into free beers and naptimes.
I'm not even going to get into how I'd feel about obtuse perceptions of genetic proclivity towards luck or chasing rainbows and little people to steal their pots of gold.
Personally, I get offended enough by louts who guess at my low-lander heritage and cleverly ask me how many dikes I've had my finger in.
Gee. I've never heard that one before. You must be VERY clever to have come up with that one!
Or wooden shoes. I absolutely double up with laughter every time someone asks me why I'm not wearing mine.
Actually, the wooden shoe lines wouldn't bother me by half, if they weren't so ignorantly derisive - during breaks, my Dad made wooden shoes for spare cash when he was a kid and working in his Dad's bicycle shop.
So you see, it's not the wooden shoes that bother me - it's the stupidity that they reveal in people who really know nothing about wooden shoes or my ancestry.
And tulips. don't get me going about tulips! They're beautiful, they're edible (they kept a lot of people alive during the Nazi occupation through the Second World War). and they're not actually from Holland. They're from Turkey.
I'm not ashamed or embarrassed by my Dutch heritage, by any stretch. But like most Canadians whose ancestral origins are misunderstood here (which covers probably just about all immigrated gene lines, including those originating from Ireland), I'm not Dutch-Canadian.
And remarkably, I can't skate worth a darn.