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Author Topic: What is a "Canadian"?
Sven
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posted 05 September 2008 08:17 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From the thread entitled “What I love about Toronto” there was a post which included:

quote:
Originally posted by dakota-ray:
I love how Canadian Toronto is

Other than being “not American!!”, what do babblers consider to be the unique characteristics of being “Canadian”?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 05 September 2008 08:44 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Block heaters.
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
ElizaQ
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posted 05 September 2008 09:22 PM      Profile for ElizaQ     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
French and English on cereal boxes. Yes it's humorous but I'm serious as well.
I have totally nostalgic memories of breakfast time growing up with usually either the cheerios or shreddies boxes sitting in front of me and trying to read all of the French. At Christmas time we got to choose a special sugar cereal and therefore had a new box to read. Usually my sisters and I did it out loud.
It wasn't until I traveled to other countries, the States in particular that I realized that no it wasn't normal everywhere. I actually missed it and boxes of food looked weird.
To this day I have no problem reading food ingredients in both English and French.

From: Eastern Lakes | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
bagkitty
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posted 05 September 2008 09:38 PM      Profile for bagkitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Exchanging stories of having ones tongue frozen to a piece of metal during the winter... for some it was the tab on the zipper of their parka, for others with was a metal pole in the school yard or the bicycle rack. If you haven't done it yourself, you saw it happen to someone.

I have been told that there are Vancouver Islanders and inhabitants of PEI who claim this never happened to anyone they know of... I don't think they are really Canadian.


From: Calgary | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 05 September 2008 09:48 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's a little scary is that, so far, most of those descriptions could apply to much of northern Minnesota, even many of the French labels on products (but that was because I grew up near the border). Getting a tongue stuck on a zipper pull or a metal pole outside is almost a rite of passage where I grew up. Block heaters? Oh, yeah. Most Americans have no idea what those are for...but Minnesotans do.
From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 05 September 2008 10:15 PM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To be honest minnesota is more like canada than most places even alaska. They LOVE hockey too.

For me being canadian is more about a mindset. Fairness and taking th side of the underdog is pretty common place(babble aside even) caring about those around you even if they have no relation to you or your ideology. Basically a community spirit. Like Red Green says "We're all in this together, remember I'm pulling for you"


From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
remind
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posted 05 September 2008 10:45 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
1. Flags in select public places, not cluttering up everything and everywhere, including peoples clothing. Though this is changing somewhat these days due to American influences.

2. Our humour

3. Our vastness, yet with regional differences that are mostly non-competative with one another .

4. No abortion laws, SSM is viewed as a human right as such a higher respect and understanding of human rights.

5. A fairly secular and socialized society


From: "watching the tide roll away" | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 05 September 2008 11:02 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You've been working in a mineral exploration camp near Reindeer Lake all winter. It's late January, and the Otter supply plane hasn't been for two weeks due to 50 below weather on and off - aircraft safety rules. You bolt out of your five star sleeping bag to make a run for the crapper a hundred feet away at 6 o'clock in the morn pitch black, but your boots were frozen to the plywood floor of the tent some time after the oil line to the heater froze solid. So you steal the Cree guys' winter moccasins his grandmother made for him and hope he doesn't wake up for another fifteen. Pine Martin chasing a rabbit come crashing through open bottom of the crapper into your legs. Scuffle ensues, out the other side they go. Breakfast is sausages, porridge, and leftover greasy steak from night before. Head out on Tundra skidoos for work two lakes away. Balaclavas down and buttoned up, speed off into the dawn, racing the two Cree guys to the end of the trail dodging and weaving springbacks left by the skidder week before. Three Canadians workin' hard and havin fun.

[ 05 September 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 07 September 2008 04:08 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The necessary, entrenched vagueness of the word "Canadian".

That's a pretty big part of a "Canadian".


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 07 September 2008 04:54 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Papal Bull:
The necessary, entrenched vagueness of the word "Canadian".

When one thinks of most countries, one thinks of a distinct culture that is found in the country (China, Norway, Russia, Italy, etc.).

What is the distinct and unique culture of Canada?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 07 September 2008 05:02 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

What is the distinct and unique culture of Canada?

10 Greatest Canadians

Harper wants to finish handing what's left of Canada over to U.S. interests Harper is Mulroney Part II

And the Liberals have continued to be just as secretive about betraying Canada and Canadian culture now and since NAFTA

[ 07 September 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 07 September 2008 05:07 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What isn't it? I mean, ultimately I don't see how it is that, beyond certain trappings, how our culture is "different" than Norway, or why you'd bring up that list of comparison. The Canadian identity is as entrenched and ethereal as any of those national identities. It is entirely something that one makes of it, and I think what is unique about our identity is that it is extremely rare that a wholesale modern "Canadian" identity is something that is killed over.
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 07 September 2008 05:14 PM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What is the distinct and unique culture of Canada?

From Fidel's list we can say that 90% of the greatness of Canada is due to white guys.

Or...

"Canada: We're nicer* than the US and will yell at you and beat you up if you say otherwise."

"Canada: We never stole any land. We never murdered anybody. It was all empty and vast and beautiful, just like Mr. Thompson painted it."

*Can be replaced with "less racist", "less harsh on the poor", "kinder to immigrants".


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 07 September 2008 05:16 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Canada - largely sublime.
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 07 September 2008 05:20 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is the SPP democratic?

Under the SPP, Canada will have less and less ability to adopt independent and sustainable:

  • economic
  • social
  • cultural and
  • environmental policies.

Undemocratic harmonization of health, safety, and enviromental standards will lead to a race to the bottom where everyday Canadians lose out


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 07 September 2008 09:07 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

When one thinks of most countries, one thinks of a distinct culture that is found in the country (China, Norway, Russia, Italy, etc.).

What is the distinct and unique culture of Canada?


Three downs.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 07 September 2008 09:12 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:

Three downs.


Like our country, our fields are bigger!


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 07 September 2008 10:19 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bigcitygal:

From Fidel's list we can say that 90% of the greatness of Canada is due to white guys.

I would find that comment very disappointing, if you were insinuating anything derogatory toward me personally.

I would like to add that it was an all white boys' club in successive Liberal and Conservative governments(that's all we've ever known at the federal level) who were directly responsible for the crimes committed against first nations people and apartheid-like and genocidal conditions endured by FN's across Canada in general over the last 140 years in a row.

[ 08 September 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 08 September 2008 02:38 AM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
When one thinks of most countries, one thinks of a distinct culture that is found in the country (China, Norway, Russia, Italy, etc.).

First of all, this shows an alarming homogenization of very diverse cultures. Russia, for example, has overr 100 unique linguistic populations. I wonder what you mean, Sven, when you speak of Russia's 'distinct culture'? Norway, until 1905, was politically part of Sweden. In 1904, would what is currently Norway evinced a distinct Swedish culture, or distinct Norwegian one? As for China, I am fascinated at what you might think a 'distinct' Chinese culture would be. Fireworks?

You are applying outdated Continental nationalism and patriotism ideals to a contemporary politics where they do not wash. Some people, clearly, still, adhere to these ideologies, and will give you some story about the 'two solitudes', our British and French heritage. Or, they will invent a Canadian one that includes hockey, health care and 'multiculturalism'. It's all bunk, of course. Because what the hell is nationalism now? It was always a myth, but now we're starting to figure it out.

So as long as you phrase questions like this in outdated terms, you deserve Qa'bong's pithy replies. Three downs indeed. I will only add: milk in bags.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 08 September 2008 03:35 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fidel, I should have said "from the list Fidel posted", not "Fidel's list". Sorry if I was implying anything personal.

Catchfire, when you say stuff like this:

quote:
You are applying outdated Continental nationalism and patriotism ideals to a contemporary politics where they do not wash. Some people, clearly, still, adhere to these ideologies, and will give you some story about the 'two solitudes', our British and French heritage.

...you make me say stuff like: I love you, man! "Two solitudes" fer chrissakes! Hee hee! It is 2008, after all.

Sven, for a take on nouveau multiculturalism, check out the call for submissions here. I then strongly suggest you get a copy of the journal when it comes out, and read it. Note: you won't be able to get it from amazon or Crapters.

[ 08 September 2008: Message edited by: bigcitygal ]


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 08 September 2008 05:53 AM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Other than being “not American!!”, what do babblers consider to be the unique characteristics of being “Canadian”?
There was a time when we were "not American". A time when we owned our own resources, shopped in our own department stores, and watched the CBC.

No more.

Every mall is the same across the continent, with the same brands and labels and merchandise, shipped in from foreign lands with American companies' names imprinted on them.

And the people of Canada are changing, becoming more aggressive and avaricious and self-centred and ignorant of the world and its history. I have never seen the people of this nation so caught up in the rat race.

And they are oblivious to the fact that they are being turned into rats. Or Americans.

Take your pick.


From: ... | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
rural - Francesca
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posted 08 September 2008 10:14 AM      Profile for rural - Francesca   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
When I was 6 and my parents announced we were moving to Canada, they gave me a book, a Ladybird publication, on Canada.

The images I remember are:
windswept snowy tundra
Niagra Falls
A mounted police man out side Toronto City Hall
The RCMP Musical Ride

Needless to say I was very confused when on March 4th 1974 we flew out of England - where it was snowing, and landed in Toronto - where it was raining.

I don't think there is one particular characteristic that stands alone as being "Canadian". All our winter related stories are releavant to any northern country, or extreme southern country as well.

I think what is Canadidan is that it is more than just one characterisitc, but all of them. I think Canadians are deeply partiotic, but very quiet about it. We tend to speak for the underdog and have a keen sense of right and wrong.

We're not perfect and we know it, and don't claim to be. We don't react until we know what we're reacting to.


From: the backyard | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 September 2008 07:10 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't find this a very interesting question.

Why not have a beer and talk about something else?


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 08 September 2008 07:40 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A Canadian is a person who holds a Canadian passport because they are a Canadian citzen, which means they are governed by a certain set of laws, and a social system which defines their rights and responsibilities to the country in which they live.

I am interested in why people are so interested in peripherals, such as what defines a Canadian in a cultural sense. Surely the term Canadian is defined by the political system that defines how they may act and what they may do?


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 08 September 2008 07:55 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by al-Qa'bong:
Why not have a beer and talk about something else?

Crack open a cold one, then, eh?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 September 2008 08:25 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We don't really say, "eh," except when there are tourists (that'd be "turrists" to you) around.
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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posted 08 September 2008 08:34 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

When one thinks of most countries, one thinks of a distinct culture that is found in the country (China, Norway, Russia, Italy, etc.).

What is the distinct and unique culture of Canada?


You have no idea how loaded a question that is.

I've been in the arts in Canada for over 20 years. A huge amount of time and energy has been spent on the question of what constitutes Canadian-ness in terms of culture, what constitutes true or worthy Canadian content... And it morphs with every person, committee, lobby group that attempts to address it.

I've come to the conclusion that there is no single answer, save that we are a culture that is defined largely by contradiction. French and English, monarchy and social democracy, these things are valued in varying amounts by most Canadians, not always at the same time or all by the same Canadian. We're self-effacing in our humour, but still proud of our country. We exaggerate the cold in jokes, but whine about it among ourselves.

We are a study in contradictions, and you will never figure us out -- hell, we can't figure us out. Don't even try!

[ 08 September 2008: Message edited by: Timebandit ]


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 08 September 2008 08:53 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm sure we'll all be drunk and either watching the hockey game or "makin' pizza" when the last of the natural gas and crude oil is siphoned off to the USSA in about a dozen years or so.
From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged

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