Over the past few decades, Canada has made it to the top of the most culturally diverse countries chart, welcoming people from all over the world.
Especially, the biggest cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have successfully managed to fit different cultures and nationalities together within their borders adding up to the Canadian multicultural mosaic and preserving the values and true meaning of being Canadian.
The diversity of cultures is what makes this country so unique and attractive for tourists and other international visitors to Canada. However, a casual visitor may get confused by how to get along with local people. If you are also wondering how to truly enjoy staying in Canada and get to know the people here, this article is just for you!
1. Meeting and Greeting
If you were to define a Canadian in a single world, it would definitely be “Politeness” with a capital “P”. Most of our fellow Canadians are indeed polite, friendly and cheerful people, with a few exceptions for those, whose day might have been hard. So, it is very common among Canadian residents to exercise politeness on a daily basis.
Don’t get confused if someone in the store will ask you about your day so far or would greet you with a smile on the street. Also, casual talks with people you don’t know are very welcomed in Canada. Canadian people are open-minded, so don’t hesitate to chat about the weather or other things with someone, whom you have never seen before. Don’t worry, they don’t want to trick you and steal your money. They are just being nice as a true Canadian should be.
2. Language and Gestures
Canadians are very kind and understanding people, who won’t blame you for not knowing how to speak French or English perfectly or getting confused with common gestures practiced.
Don’t be shy. Many foreign visitors tend to avoid speaking English or French unless it is necessary due to the lack of experience in speaking in that language. However, big chunk of such people don’t know that Canadians like to see you try and would support the conversation, so you don’t feel judged on the level of your language skills. Canada is extremely multicultural country and many Canadians themselves came from different countries, where neither French nor English is the language people speak.
Same story with body language. Don’t feel bad if you are not familiar how Canadians express their feelings through gestures. Establishing eye contact will be enough to make a Canadian feel that you are interested in the conversation.
3. Provinces and Territories
In Canada, like USA, each territory has its own laws, regulations and cultural practices. Canadians tend to identify themselves with the province they live in, rather than a specific city or a town.
Don’t be surprised by how Canadians from Ontario differ from those in British Columbia regarding the way they speak or do certain things. Even though Canadians have strong cultural ties to the province of their residence, they are still nice and friendly throughout this wonderful country.
4. Canadian Equality
Most Canadians tend to call each other by the first name. Unlike in some other countries, where older people, teachers, doctors, etc. are addressed more formally, in Canada most people prefer the first name to be called by.
That way, people keep it more casual and bring the sense of equality into a conversation. However, that’s not always the case, so keep that in mind. After all, it is not rude to ask a person how he or she wants to be addressed.
5. Sport is a Big Deal in Canada
Another interesting fact about Canadian culture is sports. Yes, that’s right, sports. Not just playing sports, but watching and talking to others about it. As you might have heard, hockey is extremely popular in Canada. So, discussing a local team may very well be one of the topics to talk about with someone local.
Once you read this article, you will have a clear picture of what Canada is about and how you will get along with people here. In fact, there is a lot more to say about the Canadian cultural uniqueness, its people and nature, can cannot take away a wonderful thrill of coming-and-seeing all of it for yourself! And if you ever travel to Canada, try local poutine and maple syrup!
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