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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:53 pm
 


Hello,

I am new and this is my first post, forgive me if this has been discussed too much in the past...

I was born outside of Toronto in 1983, and moved to Boston in 1990. I consider myself American, because the years that I feel shaped my personality were spent there.

I've always wondered what Europeans thought of the Canada vs. US issue, becasue I have ties to both nations.

Having lived for the past 3 years in Italy (and for a realtively short time Germany), I've been able to ask many people what they think.

Nobody cares about Canada.

I don't say that to upset anyone, but it's true. The best comparison I got was 'Canada is the insect on the giants shoulder.' More often it is 'Canada? Aren't they just like Americans?'

I've never heard an Italian or German say 'I want to visit Toronto.' It's always New York, Los Angeles, etc. Nobody cares about Canadian culture, or Canadian politics.

It's not only Italy and Germany, though.

When I stayed at a Hostel in London earlier in the year, I overheard a Canadian girl's rants about America in the common room. She would butt into someones conversation, practically begging them to say 'Are you American?' and when they did she immdiately went onto a wild rant following the line of 'No... ugh, Americans... so uncultured... fast food... racism... In Canada we have... Ugh, Americans... Am I right?' As if the Europeans would instantly say 'That is exactly right! Canada is a wonderful nation! Those Americans will never understand the world around them! What ignorance!' Of course it didn't happen. She kept doing it over and over again, very uncomfortable. Many eyes rolled when she left.

I know she was just one Canadian and I can't let her actions reflect every Canadian, but it seems like most people here feel the same way, that Canada represents everything good in N. America with the 'awful Americans' as a horrible example of an ignorant culture.

In closing, I say again: Nobody cares, Canada. I love visiting Toronto in the summer, and I think Canadians are very nice, but it just doesn't matter. A Canadian to anyone else in the world is just an American that lives further
North.

ps - I'm not disrespecting Canada personally, I'm simply reporting my experience from Europe to see what you think.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:24 pm
 


If Europeans HATE us so much then why is 90% of our population's ethnicity from Europe?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 5:29 pm
 


$1:
I know she was just one Canadian and I can't let her actions reflect every Canadian, but it seems like most people here feel the same way, that Canada represents everything good in N. America with the 'awful Americans' as a horrible example of an ignorant culture.


Exactly


I have spent a lot of time in the UK and Denmark. My borther had lived in Denmark for years and married a danish girl before moving to London. We have acually talked about his and i disagre with you. People seem to get excited when i or him told somone we were Canadian, seems they didnt know much about Canada. Yes a lot thing we are just like Americans and thats well becasue we are, unlike anyother countiry in the world we rely on the USA for just about everytihg. TV, movies, culture, music. But i didnt get the impreation from those people that we meant nothing. People refered to Canadians as the nice and polite kind of Americans.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 6:15 pm
 


Was she ugly?

Perhaps we could introduce her to the Ugly American.


hockeyguy3399 posted:
$1:
If Europeans HATE us so much then why is 90% of our population's ethnicity from Europe?


Hey hockeyguy! Did you see the word 'HATE' used in the first post?

I, however, and of no surprise to a select few couldn't agree more with his take on Canadians as viewed through the viewfinder of Europeans. We take ourselves far too seriously resulting in the delusion we actually count for something on this globe. 30 - 33 million population, less than that of California, sheesh!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:25 pm
 


If we're not "cared" about then why are we, as well as Americans encouraged to post the maple leaf within easy viewing while traveling abroad?

I use to work for a New Zealand based company that had projects all over the world. This company had employees located in Toronto, Vancouver, South Africa, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Chili to name a few. Every one of the employees was discouraged from appearing American.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:37 pm
 


Maybe my first post came off as a little mean towards Canada, but I have to stress again that I'm a fan and I wouldn't insult Canada personally.

I think Karra is on the right track. I guess what I'm saying is that this board makes it seem like Canada is this huge incredibly wonderful place that's totally different from America. However, having lived in Canada, the United States, and Europe I can say that there's really not that much difference between the first two. To most of the rest of the world, you are American.

Again, like Karra has said, thirty or so million citizens - most living extremely close to the border of the US - really isn't that much. I'll try to explain why that matters, but it's a bit difficult so don't mind me if I'm unable to do so effectively.

Right now I'm in Sicily, which is basically a different country from Italy (except in language and in a political sense). Compared to the rest of Italy, Sicilia has a very small population. So for the sake of this argument, Italy = The United States, where Sicily represents Canada.

Now consider this: you meet an Italian speaking man on the street in any city. He says to you "I am from Palermo.'

Now, what would the first things you would think of? You would think of typical Italian foods, gelato, the fasion of Milan, etc, etc. You wouldn't think of Sicilian carts or the Opera of Bellini.

I know it's a bit shady of an argument, but think about it for a moment. When that Italian person finds out that you are Canadian, he won't think of anything distinctly Canadian. To him, you speak english, watch Hollywood movies, wear Levis jeans, etc etc. You are an American.

Now consider the rest of the world. People often are less concious of western details like the Italians are. Yes, I say Canada as a seperate entity from the US would be a detail to some.

Maybe this seems a bit silly, but if anyone understands what I am trying to say and can build on it, please do so.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:41 pm
 


Twila, I think you misunderstand the purpose of displaying evdence of your nationality while abroad.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:43 pm
 


Also, if you have to be "discouraged" from appearing as an American, then I think that further proves my point of Canadians being the same. If you had an identifyable culture then you wouldn't need to be discouraged.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 7:46 pm
 


$1:
Twila, I think you misunderstand the purpose of displaying evdence of your nationality while abroad.


Oh, it's entirely possible. I've misunderstood things before. Do you understand why the request to display canadian nationality while abroad?

I heard from a comedian that while he was in Mexico he was told to display visually that he was canadian. He said it was because Mexican thugs didn't want to steal Canadian money cause of the poor exchange rate :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 8:21 pm
 


IWYC basically has it right,

I've been around or lived in many parts of both countries {in fact I'm in the U.S. right now} and the differences in culture *between like regions* aren't as great as some would like to believe and that many {but far from all} outsiders don't hold much of a distinction between the two.

I have met a lot of Europeans and Asians who did want to see Canada over the U.S. however.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:13 pm
 


ok, i don't think you have ever traveled to holland, by chance?

take a short jaunt over there and tell tehm u r canadian or wear a maple leaf and everywhere you go people will love you!

go to france and tell them you are from quebec and they will love you too!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:53 pm
 


Being Asian and spending considerable time between here, Asia, the States and Europe in the spring I can defeinately say that Asians that want to immigrate to somewhere in North America, Canada is their first choice not second. The Japanese population in Vancouver is crazy. On any given day you can there are more Asians walking down Robson street or through the strip out in Banff or Canmore than anybody else. If you ever want to see a bunch of Afro haired Japanese snowboards smoking the J on some guys lawn goto Banff.

On a global scale Canada is chump change. 33+ million people. Why wouldn't other people see Canadians as no different then Americans? BUT outside of North America Canadians are much more welcomed than Americans, regardless of whether we're friendlier or not it's the fact that Canada is a low key nation that doesn't create big ripples on a global scale. So the stigma of Uncle Sam being the big bully world wide doesn't translate to us. "Oh you're from Canada, isn't that nice...say do you know Mike?" I'm sure everyone's got that line. "Yeah Mike - Mike from Canmore?" heh sorry, a little Red Green for you older folks.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 3:20 am
 


Indelible:

"ok, i don't think you have ever traveled to holland, by chance?

take a short jaunt over there and tell tehm u r canadian or wear a maple leaf and everywhere you go people will love you!"

That's what I'm saying with that example of the Canadian girl in the London hostel (first post). If you make such a big deal about being Canadian, then of course they're going to say 'Oh, wonderful' because they are nice. If they 'love' you like you say, it's because many people love American culture (music, movies, of course not politics). And there again is my point about no difference. I tell people I'm originally from Canada, still no specific conversation. Bring up my years in America, and there's plenty to discuss.

And, yes, I've been to Holland.

-------------------------------------------

ckzero -

Yes, there are many Asians in Canada. However, this is because the second dramatic Asian wave of immigration picked up recently, and in that same time becoming a US citizen has become more difficult. I don't think you can speak for every Asian in saying Canada is their 'first choice'. Most people that leave their countries just want out. Canada is now easier to enter, so why not? I know there are exceptions. But don't act like people escaping China and southeast Asia are reading informational pamphlets and saying 'hmmm, this seems nice.' It's more like 'We need to get out of here: Canada will take us.'

Also, many use Canada as a launchpad to the States. Plenty of illegals in Boston I know of did this.

Immigration has always created problems along with its benefits in the United States. It definitely seems like Canada is trying too hard to be the next superhappy multiracial country. You can't explode a population with all different races and expect everything to be peachy for very long.

"Outside of North America Canadians are much more welcomed than Americans"

Really? I've been welcome everywhere I've been. I have an American passport, and usually introduce myself as American. No one gives me any guff. Even if everyone in the world hates George Bush, they will always be welcoming to an American citizen. The treatment is the same for an American and a Canadian.

Unless of course, you do what I've seen other Canadians such as London Hostel Girl do, and obnoxiously rant about how different and great Canada is and how obnoxious those awful Americans are.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:06 am
 


i'm from germany and so please forgive my writing mistakes.
i just want you to know that i disagree with this starting post.
i got relatives and friends in canada (montreal and edmonton),
but this isn't the only reason why i disagree with the "nobody cares
about canada -post": in my oppinion it's just a big fat lack of knowledge
about canada and canadian culture and politics! so if you watch our news
it's always about inner politics, little bit europe, much israel and usa related stuff. never something about canada! and i think this is a positive sign, because most topics in the news are bad ones - and it speaks for canada if it isn't in the news all day long. completely different to the usa. i'm really working hard on explaining the differences between canada and the us to all people i speak with (if it comes to that topic, and that is often cause i'm wearing team canada jerseys all year long). it's very sad and annoying that the most people don't know anything about the differences. especially for me it was hard to notice that most people think that canada also joined the iraq war - talk was always about the usa/british alliance and the opposite france and germany. i just want you to know that I CARE and i will continue to care about it! and the circle of "knowing-people" around me is groing :-)
again sorry for the bad language ... i'm also working on this :-)

bye

ghostmaker


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 5:36 am
 


i just want to add that the multiple races in canada are not the problem because canada tries (and succeeds in my oppinion) in being a real multicultural country - not to be just a melting pot like the usa where (and this already was before sept. 11) people have to assimilate to the us culture and behaviour.
and if you don't like canadians being patriotic or proud of their country - let me say this: other than the us canada has many reasons to be a proud and patriotic country! i think i don't need to go in the details ...
this is the reason why canadians always should show which country they're from. and just to add this: i'm not a big fan of patriotism (for me it's hell being german) but if a country and it's population do such a good job like canada does, then it's a good thing.

cheers

ghostmaker


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