Americans and Canadians culture Q&A Thread.

Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

Chugging along the path of life
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
Real estate agents in my neighbourhood now refer to it as the primary bedroom.
This is becoming more common in the States I think. Watching programs on HGTV recent ones made use this. Master bedroom is still used a lot just less so than in the past. I actually haven't heard owners suite very often. Informally saying "main bedroom" is something said a lot and for years.
 

Buzz Rules

To Infinity and Beyond
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
Canadians, how much U.S. history do you guys learn? We learn a little of your early history as it connects to ours (even some pre-7 years war history). At least this is true where I live in the north east. Also do you guys take a national exam for college/university (like the British A-levels) or do you take the SAT/ACT?
 

Frozen Canuck

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
I get that there are quite a few things that are distinctly Canadian, but at this point in time, much of Canada are immigrants and a lot of the culture comes from the immigrant population. I heard that about a fifth of the population are immigrants, and then there are the children of immigrants.
And that right there, is what comprises our distinct culture but I guess that would be impossible to explain here. THAT IS CANADA - (mostly) enriched and ever-evolving; not a Canada threatened, damaged or diminished by our newcomers.
Beautifully said!
But American culture is often defined by the ancestral makeup of its inhabitants, whether it's French/African/Cajun in Louisiana, German in Wisconsin, Scandinavians in Minnesota, etc. I live in an extremely diverse part of the country where there may not be a single defining culture because there are so many people who came from somewhere else, whether it's in the US or even the world. Over the years I've worked with people originally from every continent except for Antarctica.
I have often heard it described as America being a melting pot where, when people were arriving in droves in the 1800's, they were expected to assimilate, meaning that people were to learn English and integrate themselves into American culture, so to speak. It doesn't mean that they didn't still hang onto some of their customs, foods, etc., but there was much more of push to have people learn the unifying language and fit in.

Canada, on the other hand, is described as a mosaic, with each individual cultural group adding to its myriad of beauty. My history is a little rusty. I am sure there are other historic references which lead to this, but by the time the Dominion of Canada was formed in 1867, the French were allowed to keep their distinct culture (speaking French, practicing Catholicism, etc.) within the British colony (this glosses over much of what occurred before they came to this agreement). Canada also sought out immigrants from certain countries, specifically for their skills in farming, etc., to help with expansion. As recently as 1988, The Canadian Multiculturalism Act was passed, that aims to preserve and enhance the cultural diversity of Canada.
 

Frozen Canuck

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Canadians, how much U.S. history do you guys learn? We learn a little of your early history as it connects to ours (even some pre-7 years war history). At least this is true where I live in the north east. Also do you guys take a national exam for college/university (like the British A-levels) or do you take the SAT/ACT?
Assuming you are British, not American here, when I was in school, nearly our entire Grade 8 history was British. We covered everything from the very beginning settlements, through all of the kings and queens and major political agreements, all in an attempt to show where our country's origins began and how it was shaped. I have no idea if they still teach it, but that was my experience.

Canada does not have any standardized testing required to enter college/university. Your high school average is what is looked at for post-secondary enrollment. Different colleges at a university (for example, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences) will have different minimum entrance requirements. Each college has a size limit of how many people they can accept. If it is 100 students, then they accept the top 100 student applications based on high school grade average. That number can fluctuate from year to year based on demand. In some cases, if you are a foreign student enrolling in a Canadian university, you may have to take a language fluency exam, but that isn't standard for Canadian applicants

There are also no essay requirements for college applications in Canada, unlike some US colleges require. A college entrance essay where you talk about something meaningful in your life, or how you can enrich the college you are applying to, or how your life has shaped your future desires, can often be a requirement for acceptance in the US. Students can spend a lot of time learning to write and perfecting their admission essays.
 

Frozen Canuck

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Canadians, how much U.S. history do you guys learn? We learn a little of your early history as it connects to ours (even some pre-7 years war history). At least this is true where I live in the north east.
Oops!!! It is early!!! I was replying at 5am and obviously did not read very clearly AT ALL!!! Other than your comment on British testing, I have no idea what my brain thought I was reading. My apologies!!!

American history? Well, when I was teaching in Canada, one third of the Grade 7 curriculum was on Canada US relations, so a third of the year was definitely devoted to American topics, some of which would have been history. In Grade 8, once we got through the British stuff for our Canadian history origins, we then went on to do a small bit with how the US fit into our history. (Grade 8 was all about Canadian History.) We obviously took Canadian history again in high school, and went over much of this stuff again. I specifically remember writing a report on the War of 1812 in Grade 11, so I'm pretty sure we were always studying about how Canada fit into the overall picture of the history of the world. Again, it has been a few years now, so things may have changed, but I did feel that we covered much more American history than what my kids received in the US for Canadian history (also in the northeast).

My apologies again!
 
  • AppleDumpling

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2015
    It can you write a cheque in a American grocery store or Walmart?
    I don’t believe that is possible here and hasn’t been in years.
    I don’t know. I bet there are stores who don’t accept checks. I used to write checks at the grocery store but stopped probably 20 years ago. Haven’t seen anyone else writing one in years either. :confused3
     
  • ronandannette

    I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    Is it a coincidence or on purpose that Thanksgiving in Canada is the same day as Indigenous Peoples Day in the US?
    You’d have to tell us. Thanksgiving in October was officially declared a national holiday in 1879 after having been celebrated sporadically for more than a century by settlers and perhaps even longer by the indigenous people (separately, not together).

    Your Columbus Day was proclaimed later, in 1892 and as I understand it, has now been replaced with Indigenous Peoples Day. I doubt there was any connection.
     

    ronandannette

    I gave myself this tag and I "Like" myself too!
    Joined
    May 4, 2006
    Would you consider Canada to be culturally closer to the US or the UK?
    Interesting to ponder. :scratchin Our “pop culture” is definitely more American due to the steady influence of American entertainment and news media. Our core values are not all that similar though, when you really drill down.

    I’m not sure even what the core values of the UK actually are though - things on the Continent have evolved at a dizzying pace over the past 50 years. Maybe somebody else could enlighten me.
     

    Mackenzie Click-Mickelson

    Chugging along the path of life
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    Perogies are also a US thing, specifically in areas with large Polish communities like the coal region of Pennsylvania.
    I'd say there's more perogi in my area but similarly related bierocks (bread dough vs a dumpling though) are a big part of my state's tradition just not quite in my metro area. Not on the same track as perogi or bierock but povitica is something we all grew up with in my area.
     

    CdnCarrie

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Canadians, how much U.S. history do you guys learn? We learn a little of your early history as it connects to ours (even some pre-7 years war history). At least this is true where I live in the north east. Also do you guys take a national exam for college/university (like the British A-levels) or do you take the SAT/ACT?
    Besides the War of 1812, Allied forces in WW2, etc there is no American content in our provincial curriculum.
     
    Last edited:

    Frozen Canuck

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2015
    Would you consider Canada to be culturally closer to the US or the UK?
    Yes.

    Simply one point of view here, but I was just talking with my friend in the UK this morning about how I feel Canada has more in common with the UK as far as foods (roast beef with Yorkshire pudding was not just for Christmas Eve dinner when I was growing up) and some (not all) word spellings. I feel like both countries have a dry sense of humour. Certain traditions that my family participated in like placing money in birthday cakes and popping what we called fire crackers (fun fact: originally called bangs of expectation) at Christmas dinner, are British traditions.

    With the influence of the US just south of the border, Canada can't help but pick up on some of those traits as well, given the amount of influence American media and TV they receive. There are a lot of similarities, but many of them are superficial. Even for food/grocery products that are branded the same in each country, different recipes are used, which result in different flavours. I had a friend who often went to Canada to pick up grocery items like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, because it tasted better to her, and my daughter can tell the difference between the smell of Lipton chicken noodle soup from Canada vs. the US when it is simmering. As someone pointed out previously, while holidays and special days seem to align, they are often recognized in different ways. Canada wears a poppy on Remembrance Day (November 11th), while in the US, Memorial Day (May long weekend) is typically the day set aside to recognize those who have died serving their country, while Veteran's Day (November 11) is for those who serve/have served in all wars. Americans typically wear their poppies for Memorial Day, however they 1) are designed much differently than the Canadian poppy, and 2) not NEARLY as many people wear a poppy in the US as they do in Canada (personal observation).

    Again, these are just a couple of examples, but having friends in both the UK and the US, I feel like I am more "in tune" with those in the UK, even after years of living in the US.
     

    White Cat

    DIS Veteran
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    Sep 6, 2020
    I could offer my own unique experience. I am a USA passport holder with a Canadian residence. Have homes in both countries. Corporations in both countries. Bank accounts, investments and of course file taxes in both countries. I go from Toronto to Orlando a lot. Several times a month. And from Toronto to Dallas from time to time. So I’m immersed in both cultures. In my experience there is a huge difference. It would be a lot to get into. I will say, and it can be seen on this thread and the dis in general. That Canadians will expend a lot of energy trying to prove that they are just as good or better than the Americans. Of course they are, but they spend a lot of time on that. In general it was an eye opener to find out that in general Canadians make fun of and don’t care much for Americans, or the French in their own country for that matter. My wife who carries a Canadian passport is even amazed how much crap I put up with one they hear my Florida accent. What people will say to me. It’s almost every time we go out. Also, there is some stigma concerning Floridians. Not sure why but there certainly is.
    Canada is a beautiful county. Where I live is amazing. I’m fortunate to have two places in amazing areas in Canada. I have wonderful in laws and I love my mother in law dearly. She’s amazing. But all in all I prefer Florida and much prefer being around Americans and the American spirit. There is a difference.
     

    Aladora

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2011
    OK. My perception was via meeting someone who said that pretty much every Canadian boy ends up playing hockey at some point. I guess that could have been where he lived.
    I grew up in Ontario and Quebec and TBH, I can't think of any of the boys that I knew who played hockey. I'm sure there were some, but none come to mind. We now live in BC and I think one of my friend's kids plays hockey. Not a huge sample size but my experience.

    Canadians, how much U.S. history do you guys learn?
    Not a lot, although DS is in grade 11 IB History and he is just finishing up learning about your civil war.

    Would you consider Canada to be culturally closer to the US or the UK?
    Huh, interesting question and one I will have to think on.
     

    prairie_girl

    Thinking about pennies...
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2016
    Canadians, how much U.S. history do you guys learn? We learn a little of your early history as it connects to ours (even some pre-7 years war history). At least this is true where I live in the north east. Also do you guys take a national exam for college/university (like the British A-levels) or do you take the SAT/ACT?
    As others have said, we learn very little of your history. I think we mostly learn by exposure outside of school. I can sing the American national anthem because it’s usually played before every hockey game I watch.


    Is it a coincidence or on purpose that Thanksgiving in Canada is the same day as Indigenous Peoples Day in the US?
    It’s a coincidence. Is your day a set date, because Thanksgiving here is the first Monday in October, so the date varies year by year.


    Yes.

    Simply one point of view here, but I was just talking with my friend in the UK this morning about how I feel Canada has more in common with the UK as far as foods (roast beef with Yorkshire pudding was not just for Christmas Eve dinner when I was growing up) and some (not all) word spellings. I feel like both countries have a dry sense of humour. Certain traditions that my family participated in like placing money in birthday cakes and popping what we called fire crackers (fun fact: originally called bangs of expectation) at Christmas dinner, are British traditions.

    With the influence of the US just south of the border, Canada can't help but pick up on some of those traits as well, given the amount of influence American media and TV they receive. There are a lot of similarities, but many of them are superficial. Even for food/grocery products that are branded the same in each country, different recipes are used, which result in different flavours. I had a friend who often went to Canada to pick up grocery items like Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, because it tasted better to her, and my daughter can tell the difference between the smell of Lipton chicken noodle soup from Canada vs. the US when it is simmering. As someone pointed out previously, while holidays and special days seem to align, they are often recognized in different ways. Canada wears a poppy on Remembrance Day (November 11th), while in the US, Memorial Day (May long weekend) is typically the day set aside to recognize those who have died serving their country, while Veteran's Day (November 11) is for those who serve/have served in all wars. Americans typically wear their poppies for Memorial Day, however they 1) are designed much differently than the Canadian poppy, and 2) not NEARLY as many people wear a poppy in the US as they do in Canada (personal observation).

    Again, these are just a couple of examples, but having friends in both the UK and the US, I feel like I am more "in tune" with those in the UK, even after years of living in the US.
    We put money in birthday cakes. It’s equal to how old the birthday boy/girl is.

    I agree with what you said that we have had a lot of US influence simply because we are so close to them, but deep down, we are closed to the UK.
     


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