Canada is becoming quite a hot topic on the world stage these days. From its handsome Prime Minister to its highly-developed healthcare system and welfare state to its increased presence in world trade organizations and global partnerships, Canada is carving out a name for itself in the 21st century. Here are a few things you need to know about the Great White North — in the words of the locals.
1. Is there puck on the TV tonight?
Canadians love hockey more than any other country, and they’re good at it too — more than half of the NHL is made up of Canadians, and their national team has won the last two Olympic Gold Medals in 2010 and 2014. Oh yeah, and they call it “puck”.
2. Poutine and Donair
Canada has lots of regional foods that might mystify people from other countries. If you visit Quebec, try a bowl of poutine — French fries, gravy, cheese curds, and almost any topping you can imagine. If you’re out east in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, check out donair — essentially a Chicago-style gyro with a sweet white sauce.
3. More Than a Snowy Tundra
Canada gets a bad rap for having one of the worst winters in the world, but the country is definitely not snowy white all year, and definitely not a flat wasteland. British Columbia has world-renowned rainforests, Alberta is home to the Canadian Rockies, Ontario borders a pair of great lakes and eastern Canada has some of the most incredible beaches in North America.
4. Canadians Fight Wars Too
Americans might not always realize it, but Canada has been a major part of most of the wars of the 20th and 21st centuries. Remembrance Day, celebrated on November 11, is a day of mourning and commemoration of the country’s sacrifices in WWI, WWII, and many others.
5. Early Thanksgiving?
Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving about a month and a half before Americans, in mid-October. No one is precisely sure why this is, but most experts point to an earlier harvest in Canada thanks to its shorter summers and falls.
6. Canadian Slang
Let’s take a brief look at some words that Canadians say, and their meaning in plain English. It’s not always easy to figure out!
7. Let’s go to Timmy’s = I need coffee from Tim Horton’s
8. Double-double = two milk and two sugar in my coffee, please
9. Sorry = I’m sorry that you bumped into me
10. Toonie = $2, Loonie = $1
11. Mounties = Royal Canadian Mounted Police
12. Tories = Conservative Party of Canada
13. Maritimes = The three eastern provinces of Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I.)
14. Newfy = person from Newfoundland
15. Eh? = Am I right?
Canada is so much more than its stereotypes. It’s a welcoming place where people of all backgrounds can come together peacefully… and try to survive the winter. Doesn’t sound too bad, eh?