Canada turns 152 this weekend. Trucks are packed, Tims Cards are maxed out, and you can't look outside without seeing red and white.
This year we're celebrating by reviewing 6 of the most common Canadian Stereotypes. Some are true - and are enthusiastically embraced - while others are just wrong.
If you're a 4th generation Canadian, maybe you don't even realize how different we are from the rest of the world. If you are new to Canada - welcome - you're going to have to strap yourself in and get used to a few things.
So let's go eh!
It's a fact. Canadian's love Maple Syrup and we're not shy about saying so.
Canada produced 33720 Litres of liquid gold in 2015 and is consistently the worldwide leader in both production and distribution. Quebec alone is responsible for almost 70% of the global maple syrup supply. The Leaf is on our flag for a reason.
We ALL love hockey. Well it's not quite 110%, but Sportsnet reports that 75% of the country tuned into a game during the Stanley cup playoffs. On top of that, our Toronto and Montreal NHL arenas have no trouble filling their seats all year around.
Even if you're not a personal fanatic, you'll be hard pressed to find a Canadian that didn't grow up on the ice or at least playing road hockey.
"Do you know Bob?" Yes we're friendly and most of us know our neighbours. But, No, we don't all know each other. Canada is the second largest (by land mass) Country in the world, home to the 4th largest city in North America (YUP! Mexico City, New York City, Los Angeles, and TORONTO!), and home to almost every ethnicity on the planet. With so many people spread across such a vast area there are plenty of new people to meet.
"Oot and Aboot" Sure there are a few regional accents that lean on their "Ou's" a little heavier than others, but with no less than 8 major Canadian English dialects, dozens of regional English accents, and a slew of regional French dialects, this stereotype doesn't hold up in the least.
No, we don't all live in igloos. We don't pet polar bears. We don't drive dog sleds to work. Although it can reach a mind melting -50 degrees Celsius, the average Canadian summer runs at 25 degree daily highs with a record high of 45 degrees! No matter where you're from, that's a far cry from Sweater Weather.
You got us there. Canadian's, whether we realize it or not, sneak in an Eh all the time. If this confuses you, you're likely reading this post somewhere outside of the largest undefended border on the planet. If you're speaking with a Canadian and you come across this odd part of speech, here's what it means.
- Someone speaks
= please repeat yourself, I didn't quite hear you.
- This poutine is pretty good eh?
= This poutine is pretty good, don't you agree?
- You're real lazy eh?
= Enhances a statement
- Keep the door open eh!
= The exclamation point to a command
If you're ever in doubt, you can pretty much discern the meaning by the speaker's tone of voice.
Confirmed: Canadian's are ridiculously polite. We hold the door for others. We say Please and Thank You. We wait our turn to speak and consider what other's say. We profusely apologize for inconveniencing others. We go out of our way to help others, even complete strangers.
There's no hard science proving why. It's likely we draw our politeness from formal rules of conduct practiced our British predecessors, combined with the social progression that has resulted in all of us treating each other as equals regardless of class standings.
But don't be fooled, that doesn't mean we're pushovers. Canada has participated in nearly 20 wars and has never suffered a loss. We rank #7 in firearms per capita, we've placed in the World's Strongest Man competition on more than one occasion, we've - both men and women - have made a splash on the international martial arts scene, and we almost always fair well on international sports stages.
But, physical prowess is not where our pride lays.
Often, we Canadians are humble and don't always brag about our accomplishments. It's possible you don't even know what we've contributed to global progress.
Here's a short list of what the world can thank us for.
- We invented basketball (and Lacrosse, Ice Hockey, and 5-pin Bowling)
- We co-created Superman (The Daily Planet was inspired by the Toronto Star, Metropolis was inspired by Toronto)
- We invented the walkie-talkie
- We invented the compound steam engine
- We invented sonar
- We invented the first widely-used gas mask
- We invented the process of extracting Insulin
- We invented the electron microscope
And those are just a few.
Now that we're feeling patriotic, let's all rise for the National Anthem
Yours In Boating,