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.