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


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Nope. Sub-cultures don't exist either because everyone has free will to act and behave as they choose.

And when people have the free will to act the same way in a group, that would be called culture. Local customs and practices would be equated to culture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture

Seems like there are different meanings of what culture means.

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The real difference can be explained in simply stating that Canada and Canadians are still interested in socially responsible government. That is, capitalism with a healthy mix of socialism when it's obviously required to make a socially responsible form of capitalism.

Whereas the US and Americans in general continue to support a completely unacceptable form of capitalism which doesn't serve the interests of it's people. This has resulted in a nation which has the highest per capita income in the world along with the second highest income inequality in the world. A situation which is guaranteed to bring it down if it's not saved by a popular revolution. Not likely, as beginnings such as OWS and the tea baggers have been quickly hijacked by the Koch brothers and their ilk.

America is stuck in the 20th. century with it's dreams of the American way. It's a way that is totally unsustainable in this 21st. century.

Canada needs to pay close attention to how the US is disintegrating in relation to the wellbeing of it's people and run away in the other direction fast. Disposing with the Harper government is mission # one on the road to a more socially responsible Canada as has been our pride as a nation for our very length of existence.

Add to that that it's a forgone conclusion that the chickens will begin to come home for Canada too if we follow in the footsteps of US aggression for much longer. That must never be what Canada still is in the eyes of the world. Indeed still in the eyes of Europeans the most desirable country in the world in which to live!

Sounds more like a description of blue state USA (liberals) versus red state USA (so-called conservatives).

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No. I never even hinted such a thing.

The point I was clearly making was that the US is not exactly a far foreign land with which Canadians have no real acquaintance.

I think the U.S and Canada are quite different. Almost as different as Syria and Israel, or North Korea and South Korea.

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Great topic.

Well to start with there is no agreement as to what the definition of cultural really means. It has over 5 meanings

and when we apply it to a society as a whole we call on people to present stereotypes or traits common to all the

people in the society we typecast.

Traits or stereotypes necessarily will always have exceptions since they are generalizations so the moment someone

describes something as a trait another will provide an exception to that trait or generalization.

Traits or stereotypes if negative incite hatred and defensive reactions, when positive, seem to be embraced by chauvenists

looking for a patriotic boost.

Well that said Canada as a country has some traits I most certainly think differentiate it from the US and I would argue they get into

the wonderful area of political psychology.

The United States was born from a revolution by people protesting taxes. Canada was created from conformists to the monarchy wishing

to follow the law and obey the King. That is a huge starting difference that reflects in our major difference all these years later, that Canada

by nature was created by conformists while the United States was created by non conformists.

That is a huge psychological difference which is then reflected in the cultural, social and political institutions. the US constitution stresses

individual freedoms, our Charter of Rights in Canada stresses as many collective rights as it does individual ones and tends to define people

as part of a collective not as individuals. This is why we give specific mention to Francophones, gays, aborignals where in the US they do not.

Another huge difference reflected in our culture from our collective psyche is the difference in conflict resolution. The US is an adversarial nation

that embraces a military and warrior culture and its history and laws are replete with references to wars. In Canada we prided ourselves on a leader

who recreated soldiers to be peacekeepers not warriors and we want to see ourselves in the rest of the world not as leaders or warriors but

good guy peacemakers everyone trusts.

Our entire legal system reflects this non confrontational psyche. We do not have civil wars. We created a legal system that envisioned our two conflicted identities-French and English living in co-existence and instead of going into Quebec and erasing its French history we embraced it and cultivate it and pay people federal government money to stand up in our federal parliament and call for the end of Canada. If a US senator called on its state to

separate today he or she would be shot as a traitor.

This non confrontational psyche is a crucial difference and its why we loath guns and embrace gun control. We did not see might of right through the barrel of an individual gun as the way to establish law and order-we relied on a man in a scarlet uniform on a horse with no gun civilly telling people

to behave.

Its a huge cultural difference. We walked our aboriginals into their reservations for the most part. We did not engage in the kind of violence settlers did in the US. We are to this day very civil when we are bigoted. We smile and act all wonderful as we tell people there are no vacancies. No lynchings please.

Now mind you we had a rebellion but just one and now that rebel Louis Riel is considered a wonderful person not some renegade.

Unlike Americans our politicians love to apologize. American politicians are direct and embrace their lack of popularity as a sign of toughness and an admirable quality-the US loves a redneck in your face blunt speaking cowboy. In Canada, no not us, our politicians embrace bland and baige. Our

most successful politicians like Harper and Bill Davis the former Premier of Ontario bore people to death.

We have had only one colourful politician and to this day bland Canadians harp about Trudeau's effeminate qualities and non conformist ways.

We embrace boredom and blandness in politics-Americans crave adventure and fire talk from their politicians.

Americans embrace violent war movies while we Canadians prefer comedies about people hanging around a gas station in the middle of nowhere

or beachcombers with names like Relic. When we do imitate American t.v. shows with police dramas no one takes them seriously,

Only in Canada could you embrace a 4' 10" Jabba the Hutt woman who weighed 400 pounds, had no neck but sang coal miner songs. If Rita McNeil tried

out for a talent show in the US they would be mortified she did not get liposuction.

Our Canadian singers for the most part even when women look like men, i.e., Anne Murray and K.D. Lang. Now mind you we do have Shania Twain but

most people think she is an American and Avril Lavigne looks like a Valley Girl on crack. To be really Canadian she would need to cut her hair

and play a fiddle.

To truly understand Canadian culture is to understand we most certainly have one-its called being a non confrontational, conforming, boring is good, law and order, person.

Our environment very much reflects our culture. Because of our large span of earth and weather we embraced collectivity as a way to survive and this is why we embraced both gun control and social medical care. You could not survive in Canada if we did not form trading agreements, peaceful settlements and helped each other build barns, share distribution of food and medicine.

The US has different weather that allows more individuality and a feeling there is not as much dependency needed on others.

Canadian art for the most part embraces nature-American art for the most part CONQUERS nature.

Sure we have multiple languages, French and English sub cultures, and an idea that you can be a hyphen Canadian but hyphen Canadians know

they eventually have to take off their other world attire or freeze. For the first few years our new Canadians wear winter coats in the spring and fall

thinking 6o degree farenheit weather is cold, but they soon catch on.

Americans below a certain parallel do not understand winter. Americans in Northern states like North Dakota,Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Maine,

have a lot more in common with Canadians than their southern state neighbours because of that shared appreciation of weather.

The biggest difference between our cultures is Americans show pride. They like to show chauvinistic displays of pride-parades,flags, references to war victories. In Canada we loath patriotic displays. We instead embrace modesty about war.

Canadian soldiers have no swagger. They are reserved and modest and don't like attention or bringing attention to who they are and what they have done. Our military history is one of modesty. We don't brag.

Bottom line-most Canadians by our cultural tradition head to the middle in any political debate. Its what we do. We try please and placate and negotiate.

Americans-confront, speak in adversarial, territorial, and in your face tones.

Americans created themselves by saying NO MORE WE SAY NO! Canadians created ourselves by saying-Yes please. No problem.

Its a huge difference. Both approaches have their pros and cons. Too much conformity and fear of being frank and candid can turn to passive

aggressive tendencie. Too much in your face chauvinism can cause a backlash in the rest of the world and an isolationist mentality as has been the case in the US.

But we both have our strengths and weaknesses and wherever you end the discussion here is what counts-we live side by side peacefully and

embrace each other as true friends. We are a role model to the world of peaceful coexistence even when New York Yankees or Philadelphia Fillies fans come to Canada.

Edited by Rue
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Guest American Woman

This is a good example of what I was referring to earlier regarding interpretation of differences:

Quote Rue: The United States was born from a revolution by people protesting taxes. Canada was created from conformists to the monarchy wishing to follow the law and obey the King. That is a huge starting difference that reflects in our major difference all these years later, that Canada by nature was created by conformists while the United States was created by non conformists.

This is the way it was; a refusal to be treated unfairly. That's the reason for the Revolution, yet so many see it born out of the Americans being "more violent." We don't apply the same standard to others fighting tyranny and oppression, yet the Revolutionary War is so often cited by Canadians as evidence of our "violent nature."

Edited by American Woman
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yet the Revolutionary War is so often cited by Canadians as evidence of our "violent nature."

No, the war fought in the 1700s is not cited as evidence for your horrific violence today.... Statistics on gun violence and murder rates today is evidence for America's "violent nature".

This is the way it was; a refusal to be treated unfairly.

And everyone else loves to be treated unfairly.... Especially those meek and polite Canadians. What silliness.

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Guest American Woman

No, the war fought in the 1700s is not cited as evidence for your horrific violence today.... Statistics on gun violence and murder rates today is evidence for America's "violent nature".

I was referring to those who cite it as evidence. Not everyone does.

And everyone else loves to be treated unfairly.... Especially those meek and polite Canadians. What silliness.

Speaking of silliness - did I say everyone else loved it? Hardly. <_< As for Canadians, they saw it as loyalty to England, as Rue said. As for myself, I've never claimed that Canadians are less violent than Americans and I clearly stated that the "meek and polite Canadian" stereotype is just that - a stereotype.

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This is the way it was; a refusal to be treated unfairly. That's the reason for the Revolution...

That's oversimplifying things. The Quebec Act expanding Quebec and protecting its French language and Roman Catholocism. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 protecting aboriginals and their lands, thereby thwarting western expansionism. Movements towards the abolition of the slave trade. These were all factors in the revolution.

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Guest American Woman

That's oversimplifying things. The Quebec Act expanding Quebec and protecting its French language and Roman Catholocism. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 protecting aboriginals and their lands, thereby thwarting western expansionism. Movements towards the abolition of the slave trade. These were all factors in the revolution.

The bottom line is that they were being treated unfairly - and refused to let it go on, hence the declaration of independence.

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Guest American Woman

You said it: Americans think not being able to freely push Indians off their land and Frenchies off the continent was unfair.

No, that's not what I said. I said that having Britain make decisions for them was unfair. They thought that they should be equal to British citizens, and they were not. That's the bottom line.

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You said it: Americans think not being able to freely push Indians off their land and Frenchies off the continent was unfair.

Actually what they thought wasnt fair was paying more taxes to the British who were deeply in debt after the 7 years war.

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I said that having Britain make decisions for them was unfair..

Not to me, you didn't. But, the 13 colonies were just that: colonies. Colonies, by their very nature, have decisions made for them by the imperial centre. Some colonists may not have liked that, but it wasn't unfair. It was de rigeur.

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Guest American Woman

Not to me, you didn't.

Ummm. Yeah. I did.

But, the 13 colonies were just that: colonies. Colonies, by their very nature, have decisions made for them by the imperial centre. Some colonists may not have liked that, but it wasn't unfair. It was de rigeur.

The American colonists thought it was unfair, and they did something about it. You may see being treated however "an imperial centre" chooses to treat colonists as "fair," which I think is a pretty bizarre outlook, but that's not the way it is. Colonists don't deserve to be treated more poorly than other citizens, and certainly however "an imperial centre" chooses to treat them isn't fair because of "the very nature of colonies." American colonists refused to be treated the way they were being treated. And they did something about it. Again. That's not a sign of being "violent" any more than those participating in the Arab Spring, for example, were portrayed as fighting for their freedoms and rights because of a "violent" nature. Edited by American Woman
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I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.

You don't? You had a violent revolution that killed many, many people because you cared so much about being treated unfairly, but then you had no issue keeping slaves at the same time. Nor have you had much issues with treating 'other people' unfairly over the last two hundred years.

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Guest American Woman

You don't? You had a violent revolution that killed many, many people because you cared so much about being treated unfairly, but then you had no issue keeping slaves at the same time. Nor have you had much issues with treating 'other people' unfairly over the last two hundred years.

Still have no idea how this pertains to the issue of the Revolutionary War, so I won't bother getting into it.....

Edited by American Woman
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