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Canada - What is Really Canadian?

What are some of the stereotypes presented in the following clip? Do we have similar stereotypes in Norway?

The Canadian men's hockey team pose with their gold medals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Canadian Nationality

What is typically Canadian? If you were to meet a Canadian, would you feel that you knew enough about his country’s special features, or would you consider him to be half American? Any Canadian taken for being a citizen of the United States would not be terribly happy about it. Canadians feel that they have their own nationality, their own traditions and their own culture. They are especially proud of their standard of living, which is always among the three highest in the world.

The 51st American State?

Lonely boat on Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada

Does Canada have a soul of its own – or is it just the 51st state of the US?

If we take a closer look at Canadian cities, they are more or less American in style and architecture. Toronto, with over 3 million inhabitants, has as many skyscrapers as New York, and is a modern business centre. Vancouver on the west coast, is surrounded by beautiful scenery and has such a large population of Asians that it has received the nickname, Hongcouver.

Maybe it is the French-style city of Quebec that distinguishes Canada from the US? All signs are in French, and the architecture is more French than in France. A Canadian author once claimed that the only reason why Canada is not part of the US is the French-speaking Quebecois.

Nobody Writes About Us

The author Richard Gwyn wrote: “Canada and Iceland are on equal terms. Nobody writes about us”. So, while we are in the process of searching for the Canadian nationality; what is specifically Canadian? Perhaps the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the Mounties – of western Canada. As for sport – Canadians excel! Ice hockey was invented in Canada in the 1870s, and is now Canada’s national sport. Skiing, skating, sailing, curling, canoeing and field hockey are also popular sports.

The British Queen - Also a Symbol

Oddly enough, the British Queen is also a symbol of Canada. She is still the Head of State, and her profile is to be found on coins, dollar bills and postage stamps! The maple leaf, a true Canadian national emblem, is found on Canada’s flag. The stripes on either side of it represent the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans.

Tasks and Activities

Canadian or American?

Learning content


What is core content and additional content?



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