Things you should know about Canadian culture
The first thing you explore before deciding to move is the country’s customs and culture. It is more likely that your customs will be different from the ones in foreign countries. It is not always easy to move to a country where the customs and culture are much different than you are used to. If your goal is to move to Canada there are a couple of things you need to know about the Canadian culture. It will be easier for you to blend in and adapt to some of the customs.
Canada is a multicultural nation
Most of the Canadian citizens descended from immigrants. It was earlier inhabited by aboriginal people until the French and the British colonized it in the 17th century. When you look at the population nowadays, 1 in 5 Canadians speaks a language that is not English or French which is actually their first language. It is very common to hear many different languages when you are walking around Canadian cities. In bigger towns, just as everywhere in the world, there are whole neighborhoods that represent different cultures like Greektown, Little Portugal and so on. There are a lot of shops, restaurants, and festivals which celebrate different cultures.
Politeness is a part of Canadian culture
People describe Canadians as the friendliest in the world. The first thing you will notice when you move to Canada is how polite people are. It is a big part of their culture. It is common for people to be kind to total strangers. If you are new here, you will be greeted warmly. You will get a lot of smiles from the people you’ve never seen before while having a walk. Don’t be surprised if a stranger asks you how your day is. You can get used to this politeness really quickly and give it back also. It is in their culture to say “sorry” all the time. It is considered as a polite gesture, not really an apology.
One of the politest things they do is lining up for the bus. The first people to arrive at the bus stop are the ones who will get to choose a seat on the bus. In many countries, people wait as one big group in front of the bus doors. Anyone can push you, touch you and rob you. But in Canadian culture it is an unwritten rule, you line up and keep your distance.
Canadians really value their time, so the pace of life is fast. It would be best if you could arrive at the given time or even a few minutes earlier. That is how you show appreciation for your and the other person’s time, whether it is because you are meeting a friend for a coffee or arriving at a class in college. Informal gatherings such as parties are the one exception to this rule.
Canada has two official languages, English and French. More than 60% of Canadians speak English and around 20% speak French. Canada is a bilingual country and Canadians are required to take both English and French language classes. Canada also has a multicultural nation which implies that there are people who speak more than just the two official languages. When you speak to a Canadian, they expect you to know English, because it is spoken everywhere in Canada. English is the first language when it comes to schools and conducting business.
Canadians love their sports, especially ice hockey which is the most watched, played and talked about sport. If you want to assimilate, you should get informed about Canadian hockey teams. The best way to integrate into Canadian culture is to go to the games or watch them in bars as many other fans. You will most definitely find friends during these events.
We all know what is Canada most famous for, Maple syrup. Canada produces around 80% of the Maple syrup in the world. It is a signature food of Canadian culture. How much it actually is a symbol shows the Canadian flag, which has a maple leaf on it. Once you are in Canada, the first thing you need to do is try the Canadian Maple syrup.
When it comes to national dishes, Canada is not really a country you would think has some intriguing dishes. Poutine is the closest thing Canadians have to their national dish – French fries with cheese curds topped with brown gravy.
Canada is such a big multicultural nation, so this explains why there are so many different distinct dishes to try. You can try so many cuisines in Canada. Big cities have unique national restaurants like Italian, French, Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Jamaican and so on.
Canada is a pretty free and accepting nation. Because of so many nations in one country, they have a lot more understanding of each other. Canadians celebrate their differences and take pride in their heritage and culture. It is an accepting nation, and it showed that when it came to legalizing same-sex marriages because Canada was one of the first countries to do that.
People in Canada can speak about things that bother them without being afraid. Women are not an exception to this rule, they can publicly speak about the things they don’t like or support.
Generally, Canadians have differences in opinions, but they are free to choose which path they want to go in life.
Summary of the points regarding Canadian culture
To sum it all up, here is the list of things you should know about Canada and Canadian culture:
- Canada is a huge country
- Canadians love ice hockey
- Canada has two official languages
- Canadians are very polite people
- Canada is a multicultural nation
- Canadians have some unwritten rules on behaving in public
- Canadians have an accepting attitude towards other cultures and religions