“Becoming a Timmy”: Hyper-Canadianness in China’s Tim Hortons (by Janan Chan)

Figure 1: A Tim Hortons in Shanghai (농호!, 2019)

We welcome guest blogger Janan Chan 陳臻 back this week; see his first BILD post here. Janan is a graduate of Concordia University in Montreal and Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec. He lives and works in Shanghai.

This blog post includes a linked audio file. Just click on the link below if you would like to hear the post read aloud. Scroll down to read the text.

For many Canadians, Tim Hortons represents not only comfort food but a symbol of Canadiana. Tim’s became meaningful to me after the many cross-provincial road trips our family took during holidays. Driving along Highway 401, we’d stop at On-Route service stations to refuel or use the washroom, and often ordered Tim’s, as they were always there. Even during the 2020 lockdown in Montréal at the height of the pandemic, I visited Tim’s when I could to remind myself of those better times. My personal nostalgia with Tim’s was hard to escape.

In August 2021, I accepted a job offer as an English teacher in Shanghai. Arriving in the city, I was placed into my two-week hotel quarantine, and upon release, Tim’s was the first restaurant I went to.

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Language in the Times of COVID-19: To Unite or to Divide (by Dr Sunny Man Chu Lau)

Language has always been a site of political struggle. All people regardless of their race, religion, age or gender are now being affected by COVID-19.  However, to deal with the unprecedented global emergencies, different governments and community groups are using language to achieve varied political ends. While in some situations language is employed as a positive tool to democratically reach all people to inform and protect, in others it is weaponized for socially exclusionary purposes.

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