Knowing the Canadian Culture

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Living in Canada is an enriching experience.

Even if you have mixed feelings because it is a significant change in your life, specific characteristics are well worth knowing.

Keep them in mind, and your adaptation will become easier:

1- They are gentle by nature.

When you meet a Canadian, either “born and raised” here, or an immigrant living for a long time here, you see a combination of kindness and education that is hard to beat.

Canadians show concern for others.

They do not think twice before apologizing for anything they feel they might have misinterpreted.

I really enjoy driving and arriving at a Stop sign: none of the vehicles tries to start quickly. Everyone takes two or three seconds to let the other start the car!

2- They keep a journal: it is ubiquitous booking meetings through a message or a call. Even if it is to have a coffee, you will surely know at least two weeks in advance. How about that!

3- When they ask you how you have been, it is a cordial question, they usually do not expect you to really give them details. They are private and respect privacy.

4- Yes, there is racism in town. They are not necessarily Canadians, they may be of any nationality, but there is a possibility that someone speaks to you rudely, or try to bother you with some impertinent comment.

How have I dealt with it? I’ve taken a deep breath and forgotten about it.

5- Punctuality: there is a saying that sums it up: “if you are 5 minutes early, you are on time, if you are on time, you are late, and if you are late, you are not there”.

Take the test: invite a Canadian to your house, and 5 minutes before your appointment, look out at your window: you will most likely see your guest parked, ready to get off the car when there are 2 or 3 minutes left. Then, they will ring the bell on time.

5- Take off your shoes: it is customary to take off your shoes when entering a house. If you analyze it, it makes sense. You don’t want snow stuck to the heels of your boots while visiting your friends, and neither do they.

What have been your experiences? I’d love to read them in our comments section!

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I'm Ilse Barrios.

I started this blog as a journal to document my life in Canada. My family and I came to Calgary in 2016, and I’m still figuring out life around here.In case you haven’t noticed yet, (ha!) English is my second language, so I apologize in advance if misspellings or lousy grammar get in the middle of the stories but writing in English is an everyday challenge, and I love it!

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