Recently I made a geeklist about how you know you are Hungarian. Now, as Canada Day is coming closer I thought of making a list about some of the typical features of Canadians. We moved here four and a half years ago. For me it is very good to reflect on what it means to live here and encounter a different culture with all its benefits. It has been an exciting journey to discover Canadian culture and way of life. Canada Day is on 1st July.
To get you going, here is a brilliant video about what it means to be Canadian.
Please, comment on the items and share your experience you have had with Canadians! You are welcome to add more items that show other characteristics of Canadians.
You know you are Canadian when you know what maple leaves and maple syrup are and one of your favourite dishes is pancake with maple syrup and sausage. Perhaps, this is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word "Canada" is. During March Break this year we visited a local farm where we could follow the history of maple syrup and could see how maple syrup is made. The whole thing is very neat.
You know you are Canadian when you love beavers. Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges. I recently found an article in Macleans about the world's largest beaver dam that is in Alberta. Here is one part of the article. "The largest dam in Thie’s Birch Mountain beaver zone is a stunning 850 m long. The dam was probably a multi-generational project, though certainly never one with more than a handful of beavers working on it at any time. Before Darwin accustomed us to thinking of animals as automata programmed by evolutionary processes, naturalists took the beaver seriously as a mute partner of humankind, comparable to us in reasoning, planning ability, and dignity. So we still instinctively regard him when we’re reminded that his engineering rivals our own in scale and functionality."
When you get excited about hockey, or at least acknowledge and recognize the huge popularity of hockey in Canada. You might also be able to name some Canadian hockey teams. Well, coming from Hungary, we were sure amazed to see how well little kids skate and what a big thing hockey is here. There is even a road near to our town named after Wayne Gretzky. That was a telling sign for us.
You know you are Canadian when you know Canada respects diversity of culture, language and people. Established in 1867 as a nation without war or rebellion, Canada has become home to people who often fled oppression and persecution. As a result, individual rights and freedoms have become highly treasured values for Canadians, have shaped its culture and are enshrined in a Charter to protect those values from violation.
You know you are Canadian when you know that Canadians gave themselves three extra days as public holidays in May, June, July and August, so they can have extended time of holiday in the year. These days are Victoria Day, Canada day, and Labour day.
You know you are Canadian when you can name some Canadian inventors of whom you can be proud. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in Canada Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented the snowmobile Henry Woodward was a co-inventor of the first electric light bulb Charles Best co-discovered insulin.
You know you are Canadian when you know of the great sacrifices Canada made during WWI and WWII. You also know that Canada is a peace keeping nation but never boasts about it, so in the world it often goes unnoticed.
Below there is an image of the memorial of the Battle in Vimy Ridge.
You know you're Canadian when you have an understanding of how Canada's unique geographical features have influenced the development of Canadian culture and identity. This is an idea that has often been discussed in the context of critical assessments of Canadian literature. For instance, Northrop Frye, one of Canada's foremost literary critics, reflected that: "There would be nothing distinctive in Canadian culture at all, if there were not some feeling for the immense searching distance, with the lines of communication extended to the absolute limit" that "has no real counterpart elsewhere."
You know you are Canadian when you know Canadian humour is an integral part of the Canadian Identity. There are several traditions in Canadian humour in both English and French. While these traditions are distinct and at times very different, there are common themes that relate to Canadians' shared history and geopolitical situation in North America and the world.
Sorry! is not just a game but a way of life for Canadians. Yes, we say 'sorry' if you accidentally step on our foot. Other people say we do not stand up for ourselves enough, which is probably true, and we'll try to improve.
There is a survival instinct to all this apologizing. If you complain enough in Canada, we tend to elect you to political office. We call it 'accomodating elites' 'co-opting dissent' or 'being lazy'. For instance, Jefferson Davies' grandson would have become the president.
There are 10 types of people-- those who understand binary, and those who don't.
You are Canadian if you believe that Toronto is NOT the center of the universe, unless you come from Toronto in which case you do believe it.
Despite my personal disagreement of the last line of this song (written by guys from Edmonton, and you'll understand why if you're Canadian), I still think that it's damn funny, and I wouldn't edit the ending even if I could. Too bad about the long(ish) intro but the lyrics are worth the wait:
"'A grey man,' she said. 'Neither white nor black, but partaking of both. Is that what you are, Ser Davos?' 'What if I am? It seems to me most men are grey.'" -- Lady Melisandre of Asshai and Ser Davos Seaworth from A Clash of Kings by G.R.R. Martin
A small part of a 17,000 pushpin video game art project I was involved with.
To combine the last entries 17 & 18, a joke:
What do making love in a canoe and American beer have in common?