About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I is for Inukshuk

When Canadians found out that the symbol for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC would be the inukshuk, everyone said, "What? What's an inukshuk?" Thus, there was quite a lot of controversy over the choice. Why, you might wonder.

Well, an inukshuk is a sort of stone landmark built by the Inuit and other Arctic peoples. They may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for hunting grounds, or as a food cache and are distinctive in their design. The modern structure is meant to represent a human figure and is a symbol of hospitality and friendship.
There is an inukshuk at English Bay in downtown Vancouver, but not many people have known anything about it since it was erected in 1986 as a gift from artist Alvin Kanak of the Northwest Territories. Here it is sitting on a knoll overlooking Burrard Inlet.

Therefore, when the inukshuk became the symbol for this year's Olympics, people were aghast and wondered why something so symbolic of the North was chosen to represent all of Canada when 99% of Canadian knew nothing about it.
But, like everything, we became educated about our own native peoples and their culture and accepted the inukshuk. I think everyone in the world will now think of Canada whenever they see an inukshuk. This is the one that was erected in Whistler where all the skiing and sledding events took place.



And thus endeth my ABC Wednesday posts relating to the Olympics. The Paralympics will be over this coming weekend and life will go on. To see other posts for ABC Wednesday, just click here and then click on anyone's link to see what they've done this week.

19 comments:

Shrinky said...

I never knew what that was either, they are seeped in history, and have a raw beauty to them, don't they?

angelcel said...

They're rather beautiful in their simplicity aren't they? I had no idea that there had been some controversy surrounding the use of this as a symbol for the Olympics - unlike our logo for the 2012 games here in the UK, *this* one makes perfect sense to me!

Sylvia K said...

I, too, love their beautiful simplicity. I did know about them, but not all the history. Very interesting, Leslie! Great post for the day! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Sylvia

RuneE said...

A very fitting I, and well documented too.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the interesting information on the Inukshuk. The icon is beautiful in its symplicity. I really like it and think it makes a lot of sense.

Stan Ski said...

I think the choice of symbol paid homage to the Inuit people and their history.

Hildred and Charles said...

A great choice to end your Olympic postings, - I cannot think of a better icon to represent Canada, - there is always the old beaver, but the Inukshuk represents a deeper history in the north and is really quite beautiful. I love the silhouetted photo.

Roger Owen Green said...

INTERESTING INDEED. Seems as though the "controversy" stemmed from IGNORANCE; now that people are INFORMED, it's OK.

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

Amazing...I thought Inukshuk sound
Indian too, right?

Just want to wish you HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!
Have you a great one!

hugs
shakira

Oscar Wilde-The IRISH Gentleman

ART OF GENEROSITY

Grace and Bradley said...

Thanks for the information. I love the last picture, it is fantastic.

jay said...

Are you serious??? Only one percent of Canadians knew what an inukshuk was? Wow.

I discovered them when we visited Canada a number of years ago. They are everywere, and I'm stunned that you could live in a country and not notice them! LOL!

I've seen the one in English Bay - a perfect setting! And I've seen them dotted about all over. I have a pair of inukshuk earrings too, which I'm very fond of. But maybe I'm odd and I just notice these things.

Anyway, one thing choosing Inukshuk as the symbol of the games has done is bring it to the forefront of the Canadian consciousness, if nothing else, huh?

Sorry .. still chuckling here in England. ROFL!

Anders og Birgit said...

Interesting!

Mara said...

I loved the Inukshuk they used for the Olympics and knowing the story behind it makes it even better.

Monika said...

simple yet elegant very nice

Gattina said...

Inukshuk is certainly an Eskimo word, at least it sound so.

Tumblewords: said...

I love the simplicity of the inukshuk. Thanks for the post!

belladana said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Thanks for sharing this, now I understand! I liked the shape of this symbol but had never known what it was for.

Liz said...

I loved seeing those when we were in Canada and I made my own.

ian said...

“Inukshuk is a beacon, for travellers in Canada`s North. An Inukshuk is a welcome sight. It says, ‘I`ve been here before; you`re on the right path”.