Saturday, June 29, 2013

Speaking Canadian

A Public Service announcement from a Good Canadian Kid, on behalf of us polite Canadians.

I’m a good Canadian girl, who grew up watching hockey, live or on TV, spent the summers camping in the mountains, drinks Tim Horton’s like it’s my job, and makes jokes constantly, whether they are funny or not.  I married a tall, handsome hockey player who became a Mountie (Royal Canadian Mounted Police by the way.. POLICE being the operative word.  Yes they carry guns and do not wear the red ceremonial serge every day). 

We both graduated from Canadian Universities, and have lived in three provinces.  We know someone in each province, and all territories, although probably not the guy you used to work with who was from Toronto.

This is the only authority upon which I have to educate anyone on Canadiana.  But like everything else in my life, I will do so anyway.

Want some background music?  This video may do the trick:


Here it is.  A short guide to speaking Canadian.  I never used to think it was a necessity, but in the spirit of Canada Day this weekend, I thought I would help you non-Canadians.

Now, I hate to break it down this.. well, elementary, but let’s take a quick look at the Canadian map.  And we have provinces and territories, not states.  Ok?

Note that our country land’s mass is bigger than the United States.  This means our provinces are big.  Really, really big. 

Now let’s get on with it.. shall we?

Helpful Hint #1- Eh?

I’m going there.  This is perhaps the most overt stereotype Canadians deal with.  Yes, we do say it.  Not all of us, and more so in certain provinces. 

To put it into American terms, it would be like giggling and nudging a guy from Maine and saying “Howdy Y’all”. 

Not quite the right part of the country, see? 

And if you insist on saying it to Canadians, at least get it right.  “Good Morning” need never be followed by ‘Eh’.  But, if you run into us and you are really dying to use some Canadiana, say “It’s a really beautiful morning, eh?”. 

Also I do not know a single Canadian that says ‘aBOOT’ instead of ‘about’.  If you think we sound like that, you probably sound much funnier.

Helpful Hint #2- Beaver Pride

As Canadians, we don’t really seem to run around spouting our love for our country, decorating ourselves in flags, and proclaiming our country above all others.  We like to think ours is a quiet confidence.  I mean, when you know, you just know.. you know?

We like to keep it to ourselves, and think sometimes you all act a bit like Tom Cruise getting all crazy up on Oprah’s couch. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not our thing.

This doesn’t mean we take kindly to Canadian bashing.

Really!?!  We had no idea our military was so small, it didn’t really come up when we weren’t invading other countries.  Peace keeping around the world is more our style.

Seriously?!?  It gets cold in Canada.  Yep it kinda sucks to have four beautiful seasons to contend with.  I’ve always hated skiing powder in the mountains.  I’m so glad it hasn’t caught on.

I mean for the most part ignorance is well, ignorance, so we will politely set you straight.  But even the most polite of nations won’t take kindly to continued jabs in our direction. 

However, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Celine Dion are fair game.  We don’t like them either.

Helpful Hint #3- Fun Facts!!

In Global Education, Canadian teenagers are sitting in 6th out of 65 countries. 

We live longer, have sex more, have better work-life balance, make more money and are more tolerant of gay marriage and lifestyle than our neighbors to the south. 

Here’s the link to the broken down stats:

We invented the light bulb, the telephone, the zipper, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, insulin, wonderbra, and obviously, only second to the world’s foremost pushup bra.. poutine.  Plus a lot of other important things…

But, we also invented Justin Beiber.. so maybe a few demerits there. 

Oh, but Ryan Renolds AND Ryan Gosling are Canadians.  You’re welcome, world.

Helpful Hint #4- The Stereotype that is the Most Accurate

We love hockey. 

Not every individual lives and breaths the game, but as a nation we love every part of it.

We love small town rinks in the middle of nowhere with the best fries and burgers around.  We love watching hockey with Tim Hortons in our hands, sitting under radiant heaters while our asses are freezing on plywood benches in -30 weather. We love watching hockey in plush seats in the expensive section of any NHL game freezing our fingers off with $15 beer.  We love gathering together in living rooms, basements, or any other public space when Team Canada is playing. (It is more important to be with someone during the Gold Medal game than it is to be with others on Christmas.)    

And our leader, our patron saint of hockey up here in the Great North is Don Cherry. 

Never scoff at his loud suits and his very Canadian accent. He wears a rose on his lapel every day of his life to honor his beloved wife Rose who passed away many years ago.  All while teaching the kids of our country how to take a hit, make a hit, and how to act classy while doing so. 

Here’s some of his highlights:

Helpful Hint #5- We Like to Laugh.. A lot

Now I feel like I’ve been coming down a little hard.. it’s the Canadian in me that wants to make sure I stay polite, and at the end of the day, amusing.

We love to laugh up here.  Maybe it’s the fact that a great part of the year is spent indoors escaping the cold, or on highways driving this vast wonderland, but we love to have a good time.

I think Mike Meyers, Jim Carrey, Seth Rogen, Dan Akroyd, John Candy, Eugene Levy, Leslie Nielsen, and Catherine O’Hara can tell you all a few things about the comedic climate up here.

We also drink a lot.  I mean… in my personal experience of Canada. 

So obviously that makes us much funnier.   

A parting video, which is, of course, a beer commercial, illustrating just a tiny bit of the wonderful country I call home: