The ceremony was good, serious, with a bit of humour, and full of import. I thought that I would cry when I finally became officially Canadian, after waiting for 13 years, but I suppose it was too "surreal" as my dad put it. I've noticed that when I participate in something that signifies a great change (such as graduation), my emotions don't come out until after the fact. I just felt somber, even nervous for some reason. But as I write this, the excitement is catching up to me :)
We got there quite early to check in and turn in our permanent residency cards. Good bye PR card! Hello citizenship certificate! After waiting for a long while and taking pictures, the ceremony finally got under way. The MC (I'm not sure what office she was) explained everything to us, and then the presiding judge and officers and representatives of government officials came in and took their seats. The RCMP constable, who stood behind the judge the entire time, opened the ceremony, and then the judge had a nice speech about Canada and what it means to become Canadian, etc. She repeated some phrases in French as well. Afterwards, the 60-some of us who were soon to be Canadians each stood and raised our right hands and said our full name. Then, repeating phrase by phrase after the judge, we took the Oath of Citizenship:
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
Then we lined up to receive our certificates, shake hands, and receive a bunch of pins and flags and books etc. The representatives of the government officials gave speeches to congratulate us, and then we sang (or tried to sing) the national anthem. (When we stood up to say our names, I couldn't understand half of them...there were 18 countries represented at the ceremony). Afterwards, we lined up to take pictures with the Mountie and the judge.
I am officially Canadian, eh? Yea!