Regional differences within both Canada and U.S.


Someone
#1
I am a Californian, both by birth and by where I was raised. When you look at my passport, it will say “United States of America.”

If you look at my face, though, you will see something other than what we normally associate with Americans even up to now – that is, being of European descent. My parents are, in fact, from the Philippines.

I visit relatives in Vancouver regularly, and I have been all over both Canada and the United States. These experiences have led me to ask myself constantly an interesting question: where am I a foreigner, and where am I not?

I often hear people say that Canada and the U.S. are different. My experience is that the two countries seem to have more differences within themselves than between each other. As many of us know, California’s urban areas are often quite liberal and multicultural – including many people of Filipino and other Asian background – so I don’t stick out. Now, between going to Vancouver and going to some state in the Midwestern or southern United States, where am I a foreigner, and where am I a “homeboy”?

As many of us also know, Vancouver also has a tolerant and multicultural atmosphere, including a LARGE Asian element. At the same time, the Midwestern and southern regions of the United States have much fewer Asians, are not very multicultural in many areas, and tend to be quite conservative.

So according to my passport, I am a foreigner in Vancouver, but a homeboy in Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming, or Mississippi. Yet, if I walk around Vancouver, virtually nothing about me sticks out: I look like one of the locals, talk very much like one of them, and I more likely think like one of them. In many U.S. states on the other hand, I stick out in almost every way.

The story would likely be the same for my relatives in Vancouver: they regularly take day trips to Seattle, and visit us every now-and-then in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even if their passports say that they are foreigners, they do not feel like they are.

On the other hand, what if they went to Quebec City or rural Quebec, where virtually everyone is white, French-speaking, and holds to relatively conservative French Canadian traditions? Their passport says that they are not foreigners, but because they do not speak the language or follow the same culture as the locals, they would not feel any sense of belonging. They may as well be foreigners. I can make a similar comparison to how they would probably feel if they were to go to Newfoundland or Nunavut.

Are we so different? Within ourselves we are. In reality, I see more similarities across the border than within the borders. And due to my background, I’m sure I end up seeing the two countries differently from the majority of people in either country.
 
Tyr
Free Thinker
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by Someone View Post

I am a Californian, both by birth and by where I was raised. When you look at my passport, it will say “United States of America.”

If you look at my face, though, you will see something other than what we normally associate with Americans even up to now – that is, being of European descent. My parents are, in fact, from the Philippines.

I visit relatives in Vancouver regularly, and I have been all over both Canada and the United States. These experiences have led me to ask myself constantly an interesting question: where am I a foreigner, and where am I not?

I often hear people say that Canada and the U.S. are different. My experience is that the two countries seem to have more differences within themselves than between each other. As many of us know, California’s urban areas are often quite liberal and multicultural – including many people of Filipino and other Asian background – so I don’t stick out. Now, between going to Vancouver and going to some state in the Midwestern or southern United States, where am I a foreigner, and where am I a “homeboy”?

As many of us also know, Vancouver also has a tolerant and multicultural atmosphere, including a LARGE Asian element. At the same time, the Midwestern and southern regions of the United States have much fewer Asians, are not very multicultural in many areas, and tend to be quite conservative.

So according to my passport, I am a foreigner in Vancouver, but a homeboy in Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming, or Mississippi. Yet, if I walk around Vancouver, virtually nothing about me sticks out: I look like one of the locals, talk very much like one of them, and I more likely think like one of them. In many U.S. states on the other hand, I stick out in almost every way.

The story would likely be the same for my relatives in Vancouver: they regularly take day trips to Seattle, and visit us every now-and-then in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even if their passports say that they are foreigners, they do not feel like they are.

On the other hand, what if they went to Quebec City or rural Quebec, where virtually everyone is white, French-speaking, and holds to relatively conservative French Canadian traditions? Their passport says that they are not foreigners, but because they do not speak the language or follow the same culture as the locals, they would not feel any sense of belonging. They may as well be foreigners. I can make a similar comparison to how they would probably feel if they were to go to Newfoundland or Nunavut.

Are we so different? Within ourselves we are. In reality, I see more similarities across the border than within the borders. And due to my background, I’m sure I end up seeing the two countries differently from the majority of people in either country.

there are vast regional differences in Canada. A Vancouverite only needs to spend a few minutes talking with someone from Corner Brook, Nfld to realize that. To a BC'er it's almost incomprehensible

Attitude change dramatically as you cross the country. The easterners arew hard working (when there's work),helpful and tend to band together.

Mid -Canada is pretty much where the majority of decisons are made and the economic egine of the country is.

As you move further west. it tends to conservatism until BC where it's more of a Eastern Canada/Mid Canada mixture, just taken down a few notches in speed
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#3
I think people in Western Canada have more in common with people in the western US than they do with those from the east. The same goes for the US. Someone in Montana or Arizona is more like to find commonality with an Albertan than a New Yorker.

The American haters here will most likely disagree.
 
Tyr
Free Thinker
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

I think people in Western Canada have more in common with people in the western US than they do with those from the east. The same goes for the US. Someone in Montana or Arizona is more like to find commonality with an Albertan than a New Yorker.

The American haters here will most likely disagree.

As people in BC have more in common with Washington state or Oregan

I would agree somewhat that people in Alberta may have more in common with Montana or even Nebraska. Saskatchewan tends more towarsd the Dakots's and Manitoba is very much like Minnesota

Qualifying "western Canada" as Alberta is a gross injustice to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As for BC, we're Pacific Canada
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#5
This is kind of weird for a forum set up for debate, but I agree with everyone
on this thread so far. Where does that lead us? I don't think I've ever been on
a thread like this before. What happens next?

I'm in Saskatchewan, and have no problem being lumped in together with Alberta
or Montana or Manitoba or North Dakota or even Minnesota...as we're all pretty
close to each other. Even North-Western Ontario is very much like Saskatchewan
in attitudes and mentalities.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Tyr View Post

Qualifying "western Canada" as Alberta is a gross injustice to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As for BC, we're Pacific Canada

While I wouldn't use the term "gross", yes it would be an injustice. Fortunately nobody said that.
 
Tyr
Free Thinker
#7
but I agree with everyone
on this thread so far. Where does that lead us? I don't think I've ever been on
a thread like this before. What happens next?


I would hazard a guess tha each region will trumpet their high points and unique differences.

Identifying with an American is natural for anyone east of Ontario, as is some will identify with the British in Eastern Canada or Ontario

I'd be more interested in the similarities. Having lived in Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax and Toronto
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

This is kind of weird for a forum set up for debate, but I agree with everyone
on this thread so far. Where does that lead us? I don't think I've ever been on
a thread like this before. What happens next?

I'm in Saskatchewan, and have no problem being lumped in together with Alberta
or Montana or Manitoba or North Dakota or even Minnesota...as we're all pretty
close to each other. Even North-Western Ontario is very much like Saskatchewan
in attitudes and mentalities.

Sorry, Ron, but I am a Prairie boy. There are huge differences within each province (say Saskatchewan or Alberta) in attitudes. There are urban and rural divides. The cities, Edmonton for instance, are much more cosmopolitan and far less xenophobic. Edmonton would have more in common with Toronto and Montreal, than Westlock, Alberta, or Weyburn, Saskatchewan. The rural areas of the Prairies were more insular, parochial, and suspicious of differences of colour, religion, or ethnicity. In many respects, to be honest, they still are, although, like a whack-a-mole game residents tend to change biases whenever they think a particular group is getting uppity or receiving special treatment. But, that would be no different in rural Quebec, China, or the Philippines.
 
Someone
#9
I guess I put this topic in debate because I always keep hearing people talk about our differences between the two countries when I have always seen more similarities between the countries.... and differences within the countries. I mean how can I, a Filipino-American from California, listen and agree when people tell me I'm in a foreign country in heavily Asianised Vancouver or multicultural Toronto, while they tell me I'm in my own country when I'm in Colby, Kansas; Detroit; Miami; or Wendover, Utah, where hardly anyone shares a common culture with me, regardless of the passport.

Personally, everytime I go to Vancouver, I feel like a local. I don't feel that in other states or even in many parts of California. What my passport says means little to me in that aspect.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#10
People are people. People have to be exposed to difference to realize it is non--threatening and then to become welcoming. National borders are constructs not boundaries between different species.
 
Night Owl
Free Thinker
#11
I've lived in southern Alberta pretty much all my life and we've been grouped with the "prairies" and with the "west" both having differences in how we see ourselves.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Night Owl View Post

I've lived in southern Alberta pretty much all my life and we've been grouped with the "prairies" and with the "west" both having differences in how we see ourselves.

My condolences; but, hey, no one's perfect! Suck it up and think happy thoughts, such as, there are trees north of Calgary!
 
Night Owl
Free Thinker
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

My condolences; but, hey, no one's perfect! Suck it up and think happy thoughts, such as, there are trees north of Calgary!

I've heard of those trees, a myth I'm sure!
 
Someone
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

People are people. People have to be exposed to difference to realize it is non--threatening and then to become welcoming. National borders are constructs not boundaries between different species.

I agree with you 100% on this one! I wish more people could see it this way. It probably seems like I don't, but I'm just commenting on how similarities and differences are often seen.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Night Owl View Post

I've heard of those trees, a myth I'm sure!

Why would anybody want trees? They spoil the view.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#16
And, Someone, the perceived differences, though not "real," are exploited by political leaders and elites - business, religious, and social- to maintain power. I don't have to tell you that, but I thought it appropriate to acknowledge this manipulation.
 
Night Owl
Free Thinker
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

Why would anybody want trees? They spoil the view.

True, so true. And all those leaves to rake in the fall, I have better things to do.
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#18
Isn't that why God created Leaf-blowers? Wasn't that on the eighth or ninth day?
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

Isn't that why God created Leaf-blowers? Wasn't that on the eighth or ninth day?

God didn't "invent" leaf blowers. You are getting your Bible mixed up. The only reference to leaf blowers that I am aware of is in Mathew 34 (Jesus' sermon on the mount)

...and Jesus did say, "blessed are the leaf blowers"
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

God didn't "invent" leaf blowers. You are getting your Bible mixed up. The only reference to leaf blowers that I am aware of is in Mathew 34 (Jesus' sermon on the mount)

...and Jesus did say, "blessed are the leaf blowers"



I stand corrected. Thank You! I must have been thinking of snow blowers.
Last edited by Ron in Regina; Jan 24th, 2009 at 05:01 PM..Reason: Only posted 1/2 my post. My error.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in Regina View Post

I stand corrected. Thank You! I must have been thinking of snow blowers.

Lots of snow men in Regina?
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

Lots of snow men in Regina?


I just can't answer that one on a public forum. It was -48c with the
wind this morning, so pretty cold to make snowmen. Yeah, I'm going
to just walk away and leave that as my answer.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#23
Snowmen Hunters!
YouTube - SNOWMEN HUNTERS Ep 04: Fart Tank Fiasco
 
VanIsle
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Cannuck View Post

Why would anybody want trees? They spoil the view.

Ha! Then you should live in my house. There is a walking path in our fair city that goes for several miles. A portion of that path is directly behind my house. People can stand on that path and see clear through my dining room window and living room window to the street outside my house! I have often gone to let the dog or cat in and realize there are people on the path staring straight through my house. We have planted what we hope are fast growing trees in the hope of privacy. What kind of concerns me more is that the highway is also there and I wonder if I need to worry about all the exhaust fumes. My husband says I am too concerned about it.
 
MissAnnika
Free Thinker
#25
I know how you feel Someone, I get mistaken for being European all the time, one woman even thought i had a swedish accent, even though i clearly dont, but her ridicule was so clouded that she convinced herself i do indeed have an accent. I was born in N.Y. but my father is 100% swedish so I don't look like your all american girl like people expect, but honestly its their fault for expecting it in the first place. ppl only know as much as they think
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#26
MissAnnika

Which one is you?

 
MissAnnika
Free Thinker
#27
none, see profile pic for further details
 
ironsides
No Party Affiliation
#28
We are much more similar than not.
 

Similar Threads

39
Australia's Differences with Canada
by Curiosity | Sep 17th, 2006
4
Unique Canadian Differences
by varanz | Jan 24th, 2006
38
Are there differences?
by Jo Canadian | Apr 23rd, 2005