How Canadians see themselves

Don't confuse people from the United States with people from Canada

Canadians see themselves as totally different from people from the United States.

If you want to annoy a Canadian very much, then ask them if they are from America. That will start things going nicely. You can then stand well back and watch the explosion! You might go further and say that you can't tell the difference between their accent and americans' accents.

There are marked differences between the people, and great similarities. It's rather like comparing Catholics and High-church Anglicans, there are more things that are common and on which they agree than on which they disagree, but on the differences there are very strong divisions and entrenched views.


People from Canada are Canadians.

Canadians refer to the United States as the US or the states. They might also make reference to south of the border or similar phrases in the same way that you might use that phrase when in Scotland and referring to England.

Some differences

Canadians see themselves very much as a separate nation with their own ways of doing things. The currency is different, Canada measures with the metric system, that uses kilos, litres, kilometres and degrees Celsius, while the US clings to imperial units, pounds, gallons, miles and degrees Fahrenheit.

A US gallon is approximately 3.8 litres, an imperial gallon is approximately 4.5 litres.

Canadians see themselves as very relaxed about day-to-day matters, they don't become agitated or worked-up about matters easily. In my opinion that's one of their greatest failings as a people because they don't seem to care about matters that they regard as important when they see them in a different way.

Canadians are not totally fixated on money, wealth and grasping every dollar in the way that people from the US are. In the US people will question you about how much money you are paid, ask you how much you paid for things etc. Questions that would remain unasked in most of Europe and similarly would not generally be asked in Canada.

How do Americans see Canadians?

Country bumpkins, poor relations, unsophisticated people who live at the north pole or in a country that is frozen for most of the year.

How do Canadians see Americans?

Brash, boastful, money-centred people who are ready to take advantage of Canadians at every opportunity.

Canada's place in world affairs

How Canadians see their country's place and role in world affairs is difficult to judge. News media tend to report only those things that directly affect Canada and Canadians. The media has a tendency to try to push the government into actions that would be more appropriate for countries with larger populations and greater financial and military resources. Whether or not ordinary Canadians are really interested or want their money spent in that way is difficult to gauge. At the last two general elections there has been a poor turnout of voters and no great swing in voting even though the governing party has changed.



The North-American Continent

The North-American Continent stretches from the North Pole to Texas and the Mexican border and takes in the United States and Canada. That might seem very obvious, but the geography is important. I'll talk about some of the rather silly aspects of territories later