I was an early refusenik in the regular '70s elementary school for refusing to recite 'The Lord's Prayer' (give us our daily bread) every morning or any morning. They actually noticed at some point I wasn't even moving my mouth like some and I was made to stand alone in the hall in shame for a week. I did have and read a Bible and knew the part where Jesus is saying this is just an example you can fashion your own prayer after. Mainly I felt I was being forced to say things that weren't my own words. My Grandmother would say grace at a dinner table and people silently bowed their head and some would say amen... why must I say someone else's words and express their thoughts? But at that age I just said 'because I don't think it's right' and got my parents and myself in trouble briefly (until the powers that be gave up on me). I think I didn't even stand for it for awhile and got a special scowl from the teacher, but I did give in on that part and did stand eventually. I'm sure not all the Chinese or East-Indian kids were Christian, yet they went through the whole ordeal without complaint to fit in so far as I remember.
There's still this inability of schools to teach actual thinking, though some are worse than others, and our library did have some science-fiction novels, and later even Joseph Campbell (pre PBS)! When I went to a private Christian school for grades 9 & 10 they never once made anyone pray... watch 700 Club videos maybe, but not chant or recite anything together. Strange.
Victoria Day has always been huge in Victoria, with a parade down the middle of town, a few people on penny-farthing bicycles, guys on piano's playing The Entertainer over and over, and men on tiny motorcycles wearing a fez too (so not exclusively a Victorian theme). A lot of U.S. schools marching bands participate. Calgary has the Stampede, Quebec City has a winter carnival, we have this.
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