A Crash Course Lesson on Canadian Culture, Eh

Alright kids, put on your snowsuits, wrap a scarf around your neck six times, wear three pairs of socks, thick boots, and the warmest toque in your closet because you are about to embark on a crash course lesson on Canadian culture.

Quickly, divide yourselves into teams of four; this will come in handy when we go bobsledding later.

I’ll start off by saying that I am a proud Canadian. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

Alright, enough small talk. Let’s get into it.

I know how people view Canadians. Let me quickly sum it up.

Oh, they’re just a bunch of lumberjacks up there, eh. Sipping on their Tim Hortons and being polite to everyone even if their house is on fire, eh. No worries, eh. Just slurping maple syrup like it’s oxygen, eh. Playing hockey on a frozen lake in the winter with their red faces and stuffy noses, eh. An old guy on moose and deer watch, just in case one comes strolling by for a beer, eh. There is no doot aboot it, Canadians are weird, eh.

I think I covered most of the stereotype.

For starters, we don’t slurp maple syrup. We drink it out of a mug because we are a classy folk. Get it right. Children use crazy straws.

Hockey is our game. It is our national winter sport. Lacrosse is also our game. Lacrosse is our national summer sport. We don’t have a national sport for spring or fall because those seasons don’t exist here.

Speaking of our game, basketball is also partially ours, if not the entire thing. James Naismith, a Canadian, invented basketball. Sure he may have invented it on American soil, but his brain was trained in Canada. Yes, I used the training grounds of his brain as my reasoning.

Canadians like to go the extra mile. Oh, sorry, we don’t. Canadians like to go the extra kilometre. Not mile.

Speaking of kilometre, we spell words differently. You spell “kilometer”, we spell “kilometre”. You spell “center”, we spell “centre”. Does it make any sense? I don’t know. All I know is that spell check currently has a red line under “kilometer” and “center.”

Other words we spell differently are: colour, humour, favourite, etc. We love to add “u” to words. Get the pun? It spells the word “our” right in the word, too. How sweet is that? Ah, who said it’s corny? Show yourself! It shows we’re united without putting the word “United” in the name of our country.

Without “u”, I have no favourite is an incredibly effective pick-up line. It has an 88% success rate. Just kidding. I just thought of it 13 seconds ago.

Even the alphabet is different for us. The letter “Z” is pronounced Zed, not Zee. For example, it’s Zedbra, not Zebra. I know, a lot to take in.

All my life. all twenty-three-and-a-half-cold-climate-years, I have never heard someone say the words “doubt” and “about” as “doot” and “aboot”. At least not in a serious manner, that is. I don’t know, maybe I’m not from the right part of Canada. I’m near Toronto. We’re about as unsmalltownish as it gets.

Little known fact, unsmalltownish is a word.

We don’t say “eh” as much as everyone thinks we do.

And when we do say “eh” it’s normally meant as, “What do you think.” It provokes the person we’re talking to, to respond to us. For example, “That hockey game last night was pretty good, eh?” “Yeah.” Wow, what a great conversation!

We don’t use it the way people mock us. We don’t use it at the end of every sentence, eh. That doesn’t make sense, eh. So stop mocking us ‘cuz you ain’t us!

On the home front, each family is allowed one igloo, but only for three months of the year.
The onus is on each family to decide which months they want the igloo. December, January, and February are popular picks.

We take off our shoes when we enter the house. Shocking, I know. Bad thing is, we all have foot fungus because of it, so look out.

I couldn’t possibly imagine wearing running shoes around the house. Like am I in a strict training regiment for a track and field team? Should I be sprinting from the couch to the kitchen? We can call it the 15-Foot Food Dash. Any objections? No? Good!

Tryouts for the 15-Foot Food Dash are ongoing.

Tim Hortons is the place to be. If you’re late for school, work, or an appointment, all you have to do is show your Tim Hortons coffee cup or donut bag and you’re off the hook. That’s our version of the “Doctor’s note.”

Timbits. You should know what they are. They are golf ball sized pieces of dough with multiple flavours. They taste like sugar and cavities. Buy a pack of twenty from your local Tim Hortons and you’ll get about twenty-five. Just another example of how we here in Canada go the extra kilometre!

We say “Sorry” a lot. Even when we do absolutely nothing wrong, we say sorry. We say sorry because someone else is telling us they are sorry. We are just so sorry they have to say sorry that we say sorry so they don’t feel bad for saying sorry.

We’re very kind. “Thanks, you too” is a natural response to every compliment people give us, even if it doesn’t make sense.

A lunch lady at school once handed me a sandwich and said: “Enjoy your sandwich.” I replied: “Thanks, you too.” And then I walked away quickly.

We like to complain about the weather here. A lot. You should see my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the large crowd of people gathered outside who are shaking their fists at the sky!

Winter lasts about six months. Summer last for two months. The other four months fall somewhere in between both extremes.

Up until last year, we were allowed to have beavers as pets. Then they realized that the beavers were intruding on the local raccoon population and to avoid a turf war between species, they banned beavers as house pets.

I miss Bam Bam Dam every day. That was the name of my beaver. He could really build a fort. Sorry, I’m getting emotional, hold on.

Canada is a nation of 35 million people, 10 provinces, 7 professional hockey teams, and 3 territories. You better believe this is the greatest place to live.

Eh?

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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123 Responses to A Crash Course Lesson on Canadian Culture, Eh

  1. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Canada. You folks are magnificent. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Please, feel free to say more nice things about us!

      Like

      • My new novel “How to Praise Canadians and Stroke Their Egos” is a 5000 word masterpiece. Rush out and get it Paul (only $49.95). You too can learn how to praise Canadians… even if you are a Canadian! ;o)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Sounds like a must have! Only a matter of time before you’re signing books for a looooong line of people at bookstores across Canada.

        Like

      • My world tour of (Canada) begins just as soon as I finish the novel. I just started the first sentence, and I’m just waiting for all the $49.95 advances to start pouring in. Here’s the first excerpt: “It was a dark and stormy night in the Yukon, but I was warmed by the piles of $49.95 checks that poured into my small cabin from every loving, kind, and generous Canadian who ever lived in Canada. The Canadian Mounties didn’t even ask for a single Canadian penny! It was then I realized, the Canadians were the only ones worthy to live on planet Earth. So it was here, on this dark and stormy night, dressed in my plaid, that I plotted the demise of every one else… eh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Wow, I’ll take two books please. Can I write the foreword for the book? It would be very short. I’m thinking, “Bring a jacket”, would be suffice for a foreword.

        Like

      • LOL. How could I refuse, you Paul, you’re Canadian. I’d be proud to have you provide the foreword, and possibly even ghostwrite my novel. However, I do want the credit… and the advances! Very important that last part.

        Like

      • Paul says:

        haha you’re exhibiting non-Canada behaviour with those request, but I’ll allow it! We have the same name anyways. Paul & Paul is just too much clutter.

        Like

      • Not to worry Paul, I am applying for Canadian citizenship, just as soon as that first check arrives. And when I get up there we’ll open a new law firm.

        Like

      • Paul says:

        Excellent. I like foolproof plans.

        Like

      • So do I. Do you have any Paul? We may need it. :O)

        Like

      • Paul says:

        Nope. We’ll (chicken) wing it!

        Like

      • I could use a good wing man.

        Liked by 1 person

    • grammyg53 says:

      Oh My Goodness…. you two are a riot. Several times while I was reading this “back and forth” conversation between the two of you I was thinking “He should say SORRY”…

      Paul, the original, your writing is amazing! Before I became a Floridian, I was a Pennsylvanian – much closer and easier to get to a Tim Horton’s. Loved taking my boys to Northern Quebec for fishing, eh? Sorry. Couldn’t resist throwing that into the words here…

      Put me on the list for the advance copies Paul, the supposed penmaster. The check is in the mail. HAHA!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I’m so glad you enjoyed our back and forth banter! Look Paul, we have our first customer! It’s too bad they don’t have a Tim Horton’s out in Florida.

        Liked by 1 person

      • grammyg53 says:

        And y’all have the greatest Northern Lights, too. I’ll NEVER forget the first time I saw them… wow…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you grammy! I put you down for an advance to me…and…an advance copy! My soon to be released (BEST NOVEL EVER), “How To Praise Canadians and Stroke Their Egos-While adding Floridians who were former Pennsylvanians named grammy to the Title” is already gathering ENORMOUS attention. I promise to send you a personally autographed copy (as soon as I learn to write an autograph in cursive) of this soon to be added to Library of Congress gem, when its finished. :O)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve lived in Canada, and I always brag about the people-nice, respectful and polite. Those who are saying otherwise and making fun of Canadians have no idea of how it is like there. It is always picturesque, clean and almost zero crime. There is a general sense of peace and security.Had it not for the weather, I would have finally settled there. I go back every once in a while. Funny, becaue I love to watch gags (lol) and I told my husband the humor is so clean yet creatively funny. Here in America humor is always insulting to some extent. In my opinion, the character of people manifests in their craft. So yeah, Oh Canada!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And did I mention about efficient transportation too? and gorgeous cops?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ashley says:

    Here, here! I’m West Coast my friend, and I can attest to hearing ‘eh’ a butt load around my neck of the woods, for some reason (I’m part of the guilty party, oops). Instead of igloos, however, we have perfected the game Red Rover with Cyclist Rover – in which Rovers try to dodge cyclists that aren’t pay attention. Also, there’s a communal pool of umbrellas that sits outside of the V.A.G (oh yes, it’s real), for those who were hopeful that the speck of blue sky above them wouldn’t suddenly turn into a small monsoon.
    This is the best damn place on Earth to live.

    Like

    • Paul says:

      I always figured that “eh” was more popular out west and out east. Ontario is just neutral. We “enjoy” our cyclists out here too, though there aren’t as many. We have bike lanes just so we can say we have bike lanes. The pool of umbrellas is brilliant. There should be a community pool of shovels in the winter!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley says:

        Ontario is the land of the beautiful neutral, it’s nice to have a place to get away to. Unless you go to Saskatchewan. Then you’re just … gone.
        Hah! Bike lanes as a talking point, I sincerely wished that was the case for us here. Shovels, umbrellas, and maybe free flip-flops for when the whole place turns hotter than Hell in the brief season that is summer! 😛

        Like

      • Paul says:

        Flips flops should be like bowling shoes, you rent them for a short period of time and then return them because you don’t need them again for another 10 months.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley says:

        That would be perfect!! Any color you wanted, as long as it’s black, and make sure you return them before August long weekend, lol.

        Like

      • Paul says:

        haha we gotta get a business plan going on this. That August long weekend is the beginning of the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ashley says:

        Start sharing? 😛

        Like

      • Only in Canada where you enjoy summer in the morning and winter in the afternoon-same day. lol

        Like

      • Paul says:

        We’ve had a couple of hail storms, sun showers, and 20+ degree weather within the past 10 days.

        Like

      • it is outrageous. but you know I tell my friends and my family that Canadians look young and die slow because you are FROZEN. I actually read an article about that. Makes sense , we put our meat in the freezer to preserve them. So another good point!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I would believe that. Old people don’t look as old as their age suggests.

        Like

  5. Hamilton says:

    I’ve recently been thinking about taking a trip to Canada. Thanks for the crash course! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. triSARAHtops says:

    I love everything about this!
    Proud to be Canadian, eh? 🙂

    Like

  7. datingflops says:

    It’s like the misconceptions that Americans or most of the world have about Australia. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Absolutely. People have certain misconceptions and stereotypes toward every country, but no one actually knows the culture unless they’ve live their or travelled there for an extended time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Blunderdad says:

    I live just an hour from the bridges that take me either to Sarnia or Windsor . I have been in Canada on many occasions and I love it, I love the people. If any thing, Canadians have more reason to make fun of Americans. You have less crime, you have less trash lining your streets, and in my opinion, Canadians are friendlier!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Oh yes, Canadians mock Americans all the time. I’ve only been to America once, to Michigan for 4 days, and it felt like I was in a completely different world.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Blunderdad says:

        The whole world mocks Americans, we are just to self-righteous to realize it or care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • grammyg53 says:

        Consider this to be your invitation to visit here in Florida, Paul, the original. We had winter one day last year. It was awesome!!! I actually wore my sweater that day 🙂 But seriously… Florida isn’t really like the rest of the United States. We’re just Florida. Flip-Flops are the state shoe. The mosquito is the state bird.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Thanks for the invitation! I know many Canadians flock to Florida during the winter! Wearing a sweater for only one day? I can’t even imagine how great that must feel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • grammyg53 says:

        Yes, but at the rate of wearing a sweater for just one day each year… I will only see my sweaters once every seven years, Paul. I have seven. That’s it. Maybe next “winter” will be better. Today was 93 degrees F here. Sorry, I don’t know how to convert that to C. Sorry. Haha!

        Like

      • Paul says:

        Just did the conversion on the Internet, that would be 33 degree C here…which would be like mid-July weather here.

        Like

  9. Barb Knowles says:

    FINALLY you’ve written the blog post I’ve been waiting for! Good four you! On my first visit to Canada, I was instantly embarrassed twice. Niagara Falls. Omg how is it so gorgeous on the Canadian side and so hideously touristy/trashy on our side? And how can everything be so CLEAN. I wanted to walk around saying “I’m sorry, I’m from the U.S.” Which would make me fit in because I was saying I’m sorry. Nova Scotia is completely fantastic, too. But I only said this is so CLEAN and I’m sorry 10 times. And ate haggis for the first time. I really want to live in Twin Pines. Oh no….it’s fiction. Wonderful blog and I have an idea for you but I just forgot it. Ill remember in a minute.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I went to school 5 minutes from Niagara Falls, that was cool. I’ve never been to the US side and I don’t think I want to. I’ve heard many many times it’s a terrible view. Maybe I’ll Google it haha. Yeah I don’t know how to explain why it’s so clean. I think we just all would feel guilty throwing something on the ground knowing someone would see us do it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Barb Knowles says:

    And how ridiculous to say “I like your country because it’s so clean.” Sounds simultaneously patronizing (do you use an ‘s’ instead of a ‘z’?) and like we live in filth.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Barb Knowles says:

    Me again. Or, since I’m a grammar teacher, it is I. I remembered my blog idea for you. Because I looked up “Canadian” in the dictionary and your picture was there. Recommend some authors. Besides Louise Penney.

    Like

  12. Mindy says:

    I have also told someone “thank you” or “enjoy” after they’ve told me “thank you” or “enjoy” and it wasn’t the appropriate response haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Doni says:

    I’ve said “thanks you too” after a cashier saying “enjoy the film” and I didn’t go back to that theater for weeks. Also, I say sorry quite a bit and the weather in Canada sounds a lot like the weather in IL. Maybe I’m Canadian on the inside?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. rebbit7 says:

    Haha, love this! I have relatives who live in Canada and, being American, I think y’all are awesome human beings. 🙂

    Like

  15. moxieluster says:

    Reblogged this on Moxie Luster and commented:
    Inspirational Canadian who likes… Canadian bacon? hahaha I am not sure just felt like it would be appropriate. Either way I always enjoy reading Paul’s posts, they are entertaining, go check him out!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. moxieluster says:

    You have a booger hanging from your nose.

    “Thanks, you too.”

    hahaha, enjoyed reading this!

    Reblogged here: https://moxieluster.wordpress.com/2015/04/27/a-crash-course-lesson-on-canadian-culture-eh/

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Barb Knowles says:

    I just got a comment on my post “Gut Feeling about States” by https://amoodindigosoul.wordpress.com/ . This writer is an ‘Aussie’ and explains their states and territories, which came back to me after the great descriptions. Just wanted you to know that I gave you a “shout-out” in my reply. And now, actually, I have given her a shout-out, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lyndsi says:

    I just published a blog the other day saying that I thought the US was the greatest country in the world, but now I’m thinking Canada might be more awesome. I’ve only met 2 Canadians IRL, (I’m from the south), but both were very nice and not at all weird. I recently traced part of my ancestry back to Canada, and I am constantly saying “sorry,” I used to think it might be some sort of deep seeded self esteem issue, maybe it’s because of my Canadian heritage, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Obviously I’m very biased. I’ve only ever lived in Canada and have only left the country for 4 days to go to Michigan (which felt like the other side of the world). And it sounds like your Canadian heritage is kicking in!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. grammyg53 says:

    Reblogged this on The Best of Friends and commented:
    My new favorite blogger…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      You’re too sweet, thank you!

      Like

      • grammyg53 says:

        Not really… the sweet part, that is! Sorry. HAHAHAHA. I really use that word a lot and always have used it a lot. Maybe I’m partly Canadian!!! I do have a childhood friend from PA who now lives in Toronto. Does that count, Paul? When she uses THAT word, it is more like “Sorry?” as in “Excuse me? I don’t think I understand what you just said.” Funny.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        That counts! You’re partly Canadian. Yeah we use the word Sorry in any and all situations.

        Like

  20. Pingback: Oh Canada! | In My Cluttered Attic

  21. butchcountry67 says:

    Hey fellow Canukian!! I’m a Flatlander ( from Saskatchewan) or stubble jumper,or any other term of endearment you wish to use …. found your blog via in my cluttered attic… glad I did, nice to see another blogger from Canukistan lol … can’t believe how spoiled y’all are down east… only 6 months of winter… I wish!! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Every time I find a fellow Canadian on here I send them a comment that starts with “Hey fellow Canadian!” or something along those lines. Seeing as you’ve done the same, this must be a “Canadian thing” that is engrained in us.

      I said 6 months of winter when I wrote this post but I might have to edit it. We went from Winter, to about two weeks of spring, to two days of summer (earlier this week) and now we’re back to fall weather. So winter will be here in about 3 weeks!

      I must say, I’ve always liked Saskatchewan..I’m jealous of the fan support your football team gets!

      Liked by 1 person

      • butchcountry67 says:

        weit must be a Canadian thing lol our winters are 7 months here, then it goes from minus 40 to plus 30 in 24 hours , we get winter and summer here lol think the other 2 seasons spring and fall are just something Ontario made up to screw with us, we always look for them, but they are never found lol … yanno… you don’t have to actually live here to join Rider Nation… all you need to do is put away your Argo’s jersey and put on a Rider jersey… and don’t forget to put the watermelon on your head or a Pilsner beer bottle box …. yes we actually do that lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        If we’re being honest, I have an Eskimos jersey, but I’m an Argos fan…so that basically covers 2/9 of the CFL. I don’t know if I can add the Riders to my carousel of teams…until the league expands at least. Much respect to Rider Nation though!

        Liked by 1 person

  22. BookwormwithOpinions says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA as a fellow Canadian (well, kind of) let me just say this: THANK YOU!!!! People eh do misinterpret us eh?(I mean eh I say “eh” after every other word eh NOT EVERY SENTENCE eh C’MON)

    Liked by 1 person

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