Canada From This Canadian’s Viewpoint

As a Canadian I often hear from travelers how Canada is a beautiful country and how friendly her people are (thank you!). Hearing that makes me swell with pride and gratitude. Yes, Canadians are proud of their country – very proud. Some may not be aware of that because our pride is presented in a subdued fashion. We may not yell and wave our flags all the time but that pride is there, no doubt about it. Along with the pride I have for my country is gratitude. Gratitude that my parents chose this country to immigrate to out of every other option they had. Gratitude that I live in a country that is free and views equality as basic human right. Gratitude that multiculturalism is part of our national policy and constitution. Gratitude that this country has vast natural beauty that is unsurpassed. I love my country. 

Now every country, it would seem, has its “stereotypes” and idiosyncrasies. Canada is no exception. I hear from travelers and from other Canadians themselves. So let’s take a look at the ones I find to be most popular.

Polite: I don’t know if we are more polite than citizens of other countries but we have that reputation.  Being polite serms like common sense to me. Perhaps this article from Canada Free Press may shed some light on it. 

The use of “Eh”:  We use it all the time, eh? No, we do not. It is part of the Canuck vernacular however it is not used the way characters Bob and Doug McKenzie would lead you to believe. “Eh” is found less frequently in conversations than stereotypes would present. And NOBODY uses “hoser”.

The use of “Sorry”: We have a gene for that…actually no but nobody would be surprised if science proved that. It probably goes back to being polite. 

The truth about Hockey:  Hockey is awesome. It is the best sport out there, however, it is NOT Canada’s national sport. Lacrosse is. That is because is well documented that lacrosse was invented/developed in Canada. Hockey has numerous stories and many lay claim to its creation. Due to this discrepancy that why it is not out official sport. 

Beer: It’s good! Especially craft beer.

French vs English: We have two official languages: French and English. All government services are available in both languages and most products have bi-lingual content on the packaging. Though not everyone speaks French. In Quebec and pockets of the population elsewhere you hear more French. In smaller Quebec communities you will rarely hear English (but not the case in Montreal or Quebec City). 

Multiculturalism:  Multiculturalism encourages diversity and the celebration of cultures within….oh come, we all know it’s about food! Glorious, succulent, tasty, mouthwatering food!! Thai, Italian, French, Chinese, Malay, Indian, Ethiopian, Greek, Afghan, Finnish, Ukrainian, fusion and so much more. I am certain when the government decided to make it part of national policy it was because they were foodies.

Stoplights: Yes, us Canadian pedestrians will wait at stoplights even if there is no traffic. Maybe we like rules? Maybe we are being polite to the lights? Or maybe we know that Canada has crazy drivers!!! I know on the busy intersection in my neighbourhood that one must be careful or ya might get pegged off.

Snow: We have plenty of snow in Canada but it is not year round. It is during the winter like every other country that gets snow! The only exception are the Rocky Mountains and the Arctic where it is permanent. Come on, ya really can’t think that we have snow year round! Oh and Vancouver and Victoria rarely get snow ever. There I finally said it.

Measuring distance in time: Canada is the second largest country by land mass. It is ENORMOUS. And I mean ENORMOUS. By measuring distance in time gives one a better perspective of how ENORMOUS this country really is. 3000 km is a long drive but saying 4 days gives you a more comprehensible idea.

Why are there so many Comedians in Canada?: Well probably because we do not take ourselves too seriously and we can laugh at ourselves. Besides living in a vast country, with cold winters and a small population with idiosyncrasies from region to region it’s easy to poke fun at yourself. Here’s some of our famous funny people: Mike Myers, Leslie Nielsen, Jim Carey, Seth Rogan, Russell Peters, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Brent Butts, Colin Mochrie, Phil Hartman, Catherine O’Hara, Luba Goy, Dan Ackroyd, Michael Cera, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, Ryan Reynolds, Rick Mercer, Michael J. Fox, Tommy Chong, Dave Foley, Martin Short, Tom Green, Caroline Rhea, Howie Mandel, etc. See we have a plethora of funny people

There ya have it…my viewpoint on a few things Canadian. Thanks for tuning in.

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