Saturday, April 6, 2013


My mother-in-law interrupted her reading one day to ask a question, "What does it mean when someone says they attended homecoming?" This question caught me a bit off-guard, and truly got me thinking about how different Americans and Canadians really are.

I posted this situation on Facebook explaining that "homecoming" normally referred to a high school football game, although we had a homecoming basketball game at the small college I attended and had a homecoming at different churches that I have attended. Homecoming gets in name because it would be the one game of the year where the alumni would try to return to see their high school team play.

The game would be preceded by a Homecoming Parade. This consist of each class and a lot of the clubs at the high school designing and building a float for the parade.  The community organizations may be involved (volunteer fire departments, etc.). A highlight would be the high school marching band (one of the few times that the actually got to "march"). Toward the end would be the Homecoming Court, with each of the young ladies riding in a nice car. (I remember the Corvette convertibles), and the last being in the Homecoming Queen.

 At the game, the Homecoming Queen would be crowned and the band would normally have a special half-time show.

The game would be followed by the Homecoming Dance. This is normally the biggest (and sometimes only) fall dance.

When I posted to Facebook, one of Canadian friends quickly replied that she knew what I was talking about.  Then, a few minutes later posted that she was not familiar with a Homecoming Parade (they didn't have those), nor a marching band (they didn't have those), but they did have a dance and a game.

I also have a friend from college who happens to be Indonesian.  After graduation, he got a job and married an American girl.  He has a daughter and had gone through the whole "homecoming" experience and fully agreed with me on Facebook.

Yes, if you are not American, then you are not American and cannot really be familiar with the American experience.