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What are the important cultural differences between Canada and the US?


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Do you count people who drive between the capital of L'Belle Provence and the capitals of New Brunswick, PEI or Nova Scotia?

No, but I count the half million or so who winter in Florida every year... I don't really know what the numbers are who winter in the US in total, but virtually every middle class Canadian has spent some time in Florida or California. Most Eastern Canadians have been to Boston, most central Canadians to New York. The guy who sits next to me at work was at the hockey game in Boston the other night with his daughter, for instance. He's a big Chicago fan, and has a lot of family there. Lots of Canadians have family south of the border, including me.

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It's certainly true Canadians have an inferiority complex which translates into 'loved to be loved' for want of a better term. But yes, Americans don't know or care what the rest of the world thinks of them... but then most of them don't even really know where the rest of the world is. All they know is its full of people who are inferior to them.

Americans didn't have any problem finding Iraq or Afghanistan...or Mars for that matter. Canada and other nations like to use America's Global Positioning System to find out where things are. You're welcome....

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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Guest American Woman

No, but I count the half million or so who winter in Florida every year... I don't really know what the numbers are who winter in the US in total, but virtually every middle class Canadian has spent some time in Florida or California.

And that's because they have such a great quest for world knowledge? - Because they are so much more interested in learning about the U.S. than Americans are Canada? :rolleyes:

Most Eastern Canadians have been to Boston, most central Canadians to New York. The guy who sits next to me at work was at the hockey game in Boston the other night with his daughter, for instance. He's a big Chicago fan, and has a lot of family there. Lots of Canadians have family south of the border, including me.

Most Canadians live within an easy 100-200 miles of the U.S. border. Not true at all of the majority of Americans. Again. It's not some great quest for knowledge that brings most Canadians to the U.S. and it comes across as quite ignorant to present it that way. But then, just about everything that you said about Americans comes across that way. Ignorant - and angry. And quite honestly, bitter. Edited by American Woman
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.... But then, just about everything that you said about Americans comes across that way. Ignorant - and angry. And quite honestly, bitter.

Yes...amen on the "bitter". When the actions of many Canadians belie their "not American" narrative, they get bitter. Canadians with family, or jobs, or vacation property in "the states" have moved on to more practical matters and consideration. I have often wondered how the bitter ones reconcile this CanAm relationship...maybe they never do.

I think that YouTube video of a Canadian couple going to "the states" for a day of shopping is more representative than the bitter ones who worry so much about what Bush/Obama and those crazy Americans will do next.

Boycott America ? Not !!

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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Thirdly, the differences Moonlight Graham spoke of are stereotypes,

LOL They aren't stereotypes, they are generalities. Meaning, not all Americans are like that, but it is a trend of the whole. I have many American friends (some of my very best friends live and were born in the US), I've talked to these friends about these same issues many times, I've travelled extensively in the US, I've lived in the US for months at a time, I grew up immersed in US media.....so I'm not pulling this stuff out of my arse. :rolleyes: Just because you don't like to hear it doesn't make it not true.

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We are so different within our country, yet we are all painted with the same brush. That right there, in and of itself, shows a real lack of understanding of Americans.

This is one statement that is true One must keep in mind there are regional differences in large geographical countries like the US (and Canada), just as there's differences from individual to individual. But as I said, my list was pointing out general trends. Just because a sleepy town somewhere in Utah has a very low gun ownership rate doesn't mean the US, in general, doesn't have a thriving gun culture that significantly eclipses that in Canada.

Edited by Moonlight Graham
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I live just a couple hours drive from the Canadian border, but have no need to ever cross it. I'm sure it a nice place.

So 31,000+ posts later you've never been to Canada?

Why would so many Canadians go to the evil, gun infested U.S. multiple times ? Cheaper gas and cigarettes ?

It's called winter.
Winter is part of Canada....embrace Canada...don't cheat on it.
BC 2004, how about you spend the winter at Kapuskasing, Moosonee or Churchill? They're nice places in January. Edited by jbg
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So 31,000+ poss later you've never been to Canada?

BC 2004, how about you spend the winter at Kapuskasing, Moosonee or Churchill? They're nice places in January.

So is International Falls, Minnesota. I don't flee my state or country because of winter conditions. I don't flee to Florida or Cuba or Mexico.

I shovel the snow.....and I enjoy it.

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Guest Derek L

I spend a couple of months a year in the US and I dont notice much difference at all. Theres more latino influence I definately notice that... Canada doesnt have very many real Mexican mom and pop restaurants, which sucks for someone that likes mexican food.

All the differences posted here are true to a point but they are subtle. When I went to Amsterdam and Europe, I definately noticed I was in a different culture... When I go from Canada to the US theres no culture shock at all... People are wearing, eating, driving, and saying pretty much the same things. In the last year Iv been to Phoenix, LA, Colorado, Newyork, Vegas and SLC, and besides the different climates and some noticable accents they all could have been Vancouver with half the Asians replaced by Mexicans. Same food, same Architecture, same attitudes same thing. No Americans tried to talk to me about war or god or guns. People are polite and friendly.

Vegas was at least different enough to notice I wasnt in Vancouver... New Orleans might be interesting.

Agreed 100%........Quite obviously there are some differences, differences often minute and dependant on where you go……You mentioned Vancouver BC, I’m sure you would agree that the atmosphere in Seattle or Portland is closer to that found in Vancouver, then what one would find in say Montreal or Boston when compared to the Pacific Northwest……I agree about Vegas, but a Houston is very similar to a Vancouver or Calgary in my opinion……….Agreed on the Mexican food though :) ……….Incidentally, I’m leaving for several weeks in ’Merica tomorrow and don’t expect to return a different or altered person ;)

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Guest American Woman

LOL They aren't stereotypes, they are generalities.

No their not; they're stereotypes.

LOL

Meaning, not all Americans are like that, but it is a trend of the whole.

No it's not, which is a big reason why they are stereotypes.

I have many American friends (some of my very best friends live and were born in the US), I've talked to these friends about these same issues many times, I've travelled extensively in the US, I've lived in the US for months at a time, I grew up immersed in US media.....so I'm not pulling this stuff out of my arse. :rolleyes: Just because you don't like to hear it doesn't make it not true.

Quite frankly, liking to hear it or not liking to hear it has nothing to do with my reaction. :rolleyes: I think it's ignorant - because it is. Furthermore, having "some of your very best friends" living in the U.S. still doesn't compare with being an American, living here. The fact that you compare "growing up immersed in American media" with the reality of growing up American explains a lot.

As I said, it's the Canadian interpretation. So. Just because you don't like what I have to say does't make it not true.

But do go on believing the stereotypes; keep throwing them out there - as I refrain from throwing the stereotypes about Canadians back at'cha - because that would be just plain ignorant. Which, fortunately, I am not. :)

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.....Quite frankly, liking to hear it or not liking to hear it has nothing to do with my reaction. :rolleyes: I think it's ignorant - because it is. Furthermore, having "some of your very best friends" living in the U.S. still doesn't compare with being an American, living here. The fact that you compare "growing up immersed in American media" with the reality of growing up American explains a lot.

Yes...I don't think he realizes what this post actually reveals from a cultural perspective. It's not so much that he knows about living in America...he knows about a Canadian's experience with travel, media, and social interaction....and apparently this figures prominently in the Canadian, not American experience.

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Guest American Woman

Yes...amen on the "bitter". When the actions of many Canadians belie their "not American" narrative, they get bitter. Canadians with family, or jobs, or vacation property in "the states" have moved on to more practical matters and consideration. I have often wondered how the bitter ones reconcile this CanAm relationship...maybe they never do.

I think that YouTube video of a Canadian couple going to "the states" for a day of shopping is more representative than the bitter ones who worry so much about what Bush/Obama and those crazy Americans will do next.

Boycott America ? Not !!

I agree that the bitter ones are not representative of Canada as a whole. To paraphrase the pot trying to call the kettle black, "I am sure most [Canadians] are fine upstanding citizens with good morals and loves [their] fellow man, [including Americans]. Good thing the [unfortunately way too many Canadians] we have on here don't actually represent real [Canadians]."

I have spent a lot of time in Canada. If I thought the too many Canadians that I speak of above were representative of Canada in general, I wouldn't have the respect that I have for Canada.

Yes...I don't think he realizes what this post actually reveals from a cultural perspective. It's not so much that he knows about living in America...he knows about a Canadian's experience with travel, media, and social interaction....and apparently this figures prominently in the Canadian, not American experience.

Exactly!! Edited by American Woman
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Guest American Woman

True, except when you dont.

Like post 68

or 101

Or 123

You don't know how to link back to a post? You just know how to throw numbers around?
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Guest American Woman

Oh ...sorry.

I tried to let you save face.

It was such a bold assertion on your part and was easily refuted . I figured most wouldnt bother to check back.....ergo save face.

Don't do me any favors. You refuted nothing.

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Agreed 100%........Quite obviously there are some differences, differences often minute and dependant on where you go……You mentioned Vancouver BC, I’m sure you would agree that the atmosphere in Seattle or Portland is closer to that found in Vancouver, then what one would find in say Montreal or Boston when compared to the Pacific Northwest……I agree about Vegas, but a Houston is very similar to a Vancouver or Calgary in my opinion……….Agreed on the Mexican food though :) ……….Incidentally, I’m leaving for several weeks in ’Merica tomorrow and don’t expect to return a different or altered person ;)

Im pretty sure youll get converted to christianity, rudely yelled at, then shot to death :P

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Don't do me any favors. You refuted nothing.

I guess you didnt look back then,sad really.

Didnt feel like calling you out on such an obvious and bogus statement.Hence the post #'s

I refuted this one for sure.."as I refrain from throwing the stereotypes about Canadians back at'cha - because that would be just plain ignorant. Which, fortunately, I am not'

You arent that, but you certainly are guilty of stereotypes/generalities/misnomers and the like. We all are.

It is afterall a two way street. I am pretty sure you have a good understanding of what Canada and Canadians is/are , as most of us here would have a good understanding of what America and Americans is/are (with some highly dubious convictions on both sides from some) therefore it shouldnt rile you up when someone makes a call on a difference. You do only call it out if it comes from a Canuck (at least in this thread)

Edited by Guyser2
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No their not; they're stereotypes.

LOL

No it's not, which is a big reason why they are stereotypes.

So "Americans are more religious, especially in the public sphere, while Canada is more secular" is a stereotype? It's a generality. You don't know the difference between the 2. Or maybe you do, but in typical stubborn fashion will never admit when you're wrong.

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Guest American Woman

So "Americans are more religious, especially in the public sphere, while Canada is more secular" is a stereotype? It's a generality. You don't know the difference between the 2. Or maybe you do, but in typical stubborn fashion will never admit when you're wrong.

Yeah, right. The sum of your post, your list, is that Americans are more religious.

FYI, I do know the difference between the two. Do you?? So, newsflash - disagreeing with you doesn't = "typical stubborn fashion." Such a claim speaks of an overly inflated ego.

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...FYI, I do know the difference between the two. Do you?? So, newsflash - disagreeing with you doesn't = "typical stubborn fashion." Such a claim speaks of an overly inflated ego.

Maybe that's another cultural divergence.....any difference of opinion = conflict and "stubborness", which is a direct threat to "peace, order, and good government".

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Yeah, right. The sum of your post, your list, is that Americans are more religious.

Seems like you are taking it as an insult.

FYI, I do know the difference between the two. Do you?? So, newsflash - disagreeing with you doesn't = "typical stubborn fashion." Such a claim speaks of an overly inflated ego.

I believe he meant to say 'stubborn American Woman fashion'. It seems to simply be an observation, might not actually be true though. We will wait for you to tell us what is what then, and we won't complain even when you are clearly in the wrong.

Beavers and beaver tails, moose (and the respected knuckles), big nickle, aboot, Mike from Canmore (hope he has his water wings on), maple syrup, winter, hockey, ... and .... eh!

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