If Americans knew more about the rest of the world.....


CDNBear
+1
#121
Quote: Originally Posted by The Old Medic View Post

So, I was pretty familiar with Canada, much more so that the average American kid, and even more than many Canadian kids.

Is that why I've poked huge holes in your 'historical' commentary and pointed out your lack of knowledge on Canadian history, more then once?
 
SLM
+4
#122
Quote: Originally Posted by The Old Medic View Post

So come on all you Canadian zealots. Give some VALID reasons just WHY the average American should be knowledgeable about Canada?

Because some of us Canadians are way cool! It is a pleasure to know us.
 
ironsides
+4
#123
These people trying to compare Canadians with Americans are really grabbing. We are like two peas in a pod, similar heritage, same language, similar Constitution/Charter. Want proof, just blindfold yourself and cross into either country it will be a while before you notice any subtle differences. You can go to places in Southern U.S. where French is the primary language spoken, other places Spanish and Chinese. We are more alike than unalike.
 
JLM
+1
#124
Quote: Originally Posted by ironsides View Post

These people trying to compare Canadians with Americans are really grabbing. We are like two peas in a pod, similar heritage, same language, similar Constitution/Charter. Want proof, just blindfold yourself and cross into either country it will be a while before you notice any subtle differences. You can go to places in Southern U.S. where French is the primary language spoken, other places Spanish and Chinese. We are more alike than unalike.



Absolutely correct, but on average the Yanks may be a little friendlier!

 
EagleSmack
#125
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Absolutely correct, but on average the Yanks may be a little friendlier!



Oooo... that was a brave comment.


 
JLM
#126
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Oooo... that was a brave comment.


I've said this many times before on here, but in 25 years of travelling to the U.S. I've never had a moment of bad treatment, and have always found those engaged in the hospitality industry to be very friendly, obliging and professional.
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Someone
#127
Actually, I find the Canadians much friendlier than the Americans. But yes, if I were blindfolded and were to cross the border, I would probably need a while to see the differences.... unless there are speed limit signs.
 
JLM
#128
Quote: Originally Posted by Someone View Post

Actually, I find the Canadians much friendlier than the Americans. But yes, if I were blindfolded and were to cross the border, I would probably need a while to see the differences.... unless there are speed limit signs.

I think, many times what you see is a reflection of yourself.
 
The Old Medic
+2 / -1
#129
In fact, a lot of Americans are very much aware of the rest of the world as a whole.

But, many are not really aware that Canada is significantly different than the US. There is a tendency to think of Canada as "USA Lite", if they think of the country at all.

The reality is, for most citizens of the USA, Canada is largely irrelevant. It has a population that is roughly the same as California, spread over lands that are even larger than the USA. Canada is NOT a world power, it is largely economically dependent on the US for most of its markets, and it's military is miniscule. Its inhabitants are not constantly sneaking into the country illegally (even though my own father did exactly that).

Frankly, there is little reason for most people in the US to even think about Canada. That is sad, but it is fact.

I was aware that Canada was different from the earliest age i can remember. I began spending summers in Canada in 1946 when I was 3), and I noticed that things were slightly different there. People tended to be a bit more formal, The King was on the currency, the flag was very different, the gas mileage was MUCH better than it was in the US (I didn't realize that the Imperial gallon was 5 quarts until I was a teen), etc.

But, my neighbors never really understood that i was spending the summer in a "foreign" country. I was going north, to be with Grandfather and my step-grandmother, and it was as if I was going to Washington (we were from Oregon).

Canada has VERY little impact on the lives of most Americans. Even Great Britain has a larger impact, as do most European countries. After all, most of your manufactured goods are exactly the same as they are here (even the same brands in most cases), you use the same measurements for most things, so what's to distinguish your goods from ours?

Now, if Canada had developed their own automobiles, and we were importing the "Montreal" car, people would notice. Or, if you had distinctive clothing, like Scotland has the kilt; or a radically different society, people would notice. But, in many ways, Canadians act much like their American cousins, your culture is not ad radically different as say between South Carolina and Vermont, you largely speak the same language, etc., etc., etc.

Back when there were wars between the two areas, Canada was NOT a country, it was simply a part of Great Britain (or as most Americans thought of it, a part of England). The USA has never fought with Canada, it fought the Brits (and more than a few Canadians sided with the Americans, both in the American Revolution and in the war of 1812. Britain had to post a LOT of troops in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, to keep them from joining the Americans.

So, even though our histories are intertwined in many ways, the vast majority of Americans just don't really think about Canada as being separate. Canada is just kind of thought of as another US State, sitting way up north.
 
Spade
+5
#130
“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
― Mark Twain
 
Nuggler
#131
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

No one forced you to read it.


He didn't . Just took him a long time to get someone to read it to him, and it just peed all over his cornflakes.
 
Bar Sinister
+1
#132
Quote: Originally Posted by Someone View Post

Actually, I find the Canadians much friendlier than the Americans. But yes, if I were blindfolded and were to cross the border, I would probably need a while to see the differences.... unless there are speed limit signs.

Not if you have ears. The accent changes almost immediately.
 
Someone
#133
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

Not if you have ears. The accent changes almost immediately.

At some crossings, yes. Between Detroit and Windsor you will hear it, largely because of the big black American population on the Detroit side. Anywhere on the Quebec border, yes, since there will usually be more English-speaking people on the US side and French-speaking people on the Quebec side. I'm most likely to cross between Washington State and BC, where Vancouver and Interstate 5 are. There, the only major difference I notice is that there are more Asians on the Canadian side of the border, as you're already in Vancouver when you enter Canada at that crossing, whereas the Washington side is predominantly white American, so in that sense, I might hear a different accent.

But the differences in accent when you cross the border are nothing compared to the difference you hear going coast to coast within either country. If you're from Vancouver, you will hear bigger differences in accent going to Quebec or Atlantic Canada than you would crossing into Washington State. Likewise, if you're from Seattle or Bellingham, you will hear bigger differences in accent going to Hawaii, the southern states, or New York than when you cross into the Vancouver area.

Quote: Originally Posted by The Old Medic View Post

In fact, a lot of Americans are very much aware of the rest of the world as a whole.

But, many are not really aware that Canada is significantly different than the US. There is a tendency to think of Canada as "USA Lite", if they think of the country at all.

The reality is, for most citizens of the USA, Canada is largely irrelevant. It has a population that is roughly the same as California, spread over lands that are even larger than the USA. Canada is NOT a world power, it is largely economically dependent on the US for most of its markets, and it's military is miniscule. Its inhabitants are not constantly sneaking into the country illegally (even though my own father did exactly that).

Frankly, there is little reason for most people in the US to even think about Canada. That is sad, but it is fact.

I was aware that Canada was different from the earliest age i can remember. I began spending summers in Canada in 1946 when I was 3), and I noticed that things were slightly different there. People tended to be a bit more formal, The King was on the currency, the flag was very different, the gas mileage was MUCH better than it was in the US (I didn't realize that the Imperial gallon was 5 quarts until I was a teen), etc.

But, my neighbors never really understood that i was spending the summer in a "foreign" country. I was going north, to be with Grandfather and my step-grandmother, and it was as if I was going to Washington (we were from Oregon).

Canada has VERY little impact on the lives of most Americans. Even Great Britain has a larger impact, as do most European countries. After all, most of your manufactured goods are exactly the same as they are here (even the same brands in most cases), you use the same measurements for most things, so what's to distinguish your goods from ours?

Now, if Canada had developed their own automobiles, and we were importing the "Montreal" car, people would notice. Or, if you had distinctive clothing, like Scotland has the kilt; or a radically different society, people would notice. But, in many ways, Canadians act much like their American cousins, your culture is not ad radically different as say between South Carolina and Vermont, you largely speak the same language, etc., etc., etc.

Back when there were wars between the two areas, Canada was NOT a country, it was simply a part of Great Britain (or as most Americans thought of it, a part of England). The USA has never fought with Canada, it fought the Brits (and more than a few Canadians sided with the Americans, both in the American Revolution and in the war of 1812. Britain had to post a LOT of troops in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, to keep them from joining the Americans.

So, even though our histories are intertwined in many ways, the vast majority of Americans just don't really think about Canada as being separate. Canada is just kind of thought of as another US State, sitting way up north.

If my dad's brother and his family hadn't moved to Vancouver when I was a pre-teen, I would have had little reason to think about Canada either. The rest of my dad's family was in California, other than one brother who never left the Philippines, so my uncle who ended up moving to Vancouver had other options at first. He would have liked to be in California with the rest of us. If that had been the case, the only people I would have known anywhere in Canada are distant relatives who are nice, but I wouldn't have gone all the way to Canada just to see them on a regular basis.

Apparently, my uncle's wife also had Alberta and PEI as options in getting work before they migrated. I've been to Alberta a few times in my 20s, and I can kinda appreciate it now, but I wouldn't have appreciated it so much in my teens. I went to PEI once a few years ago, and I didn't care for it. And I travel a lot and appreciate different places, so it's not like I close my mind that much.

If my relatives had moved to Alberta, I would have had less reason to put Canada on my radar. Even less if they had moved to PEI.

No offense to people from PEI, it just wasn't my kind of place. The same way that Vancouver isn't for everyone.

I know their lives would have been different if they had moved to PEI. They're Asian, like me, and being in Vancouver, most of their friends are Asian as well. Being in PEI, that would not be the case at all. In Alberta, it would be less the case than in Vancouver, but more than in PEI.

Anyways, my point is that after they moved to Vancouver, I went there regularly because my cousins there are roughly my age. At first, I felt attached to them, but I kinda grew apart from them as our interests and values evolved over the years.

Yet still, there was something I loved (and still love) about Vancouver that kept me coming back. Even if one of those cousins was someone I didn't get along with. I just really love Vancouver. To be honest, it does feel like a trip overseas. And growing as a teenagers conscious about their cultural background, Vancouver just seemed to be a place to connect to in ways that Calgary or Edmonton would not have fulfilled as much, and PEI not at all.

From that, I became curious about the rest of Canada and wanted to know more about the country in general. So I traveled to other places in Canada and learned more about the history. I'm not disappointed, though I like some things better than others.

But again, if my relatives hadn't moved to Vancouver, would Canada be on my radar? Probably not, but Mexico and the Philippines would be. In California, when you talk about "the border," which one do you think we're thinking. Does the Canadian border get 10,000 illegal crossings every day? Do you think the amount of smuggling between the US and Canada even begins to compare to what enters the US from Mexico?

Anyways, about the differences between Canada and the USA, I find that they are mostly either political or ethnic/regional. Quebec and Newfoundland are unique to Canada, whereas Canada didn't have much slavery, doesn't have Mexico for a neighbour, and doesn't have territories/provinces like Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, or Guam, so the black Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Pacific Islanders provide a cultural dimension to American life that isn't prevalent in Canada.

I notice all the Asians in Vancouver, and that does remind me of California. However, the lack of blacks, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders in Vancouver (or in Canada in general, other than small communities in Toronto and Montreal) is a HUGE difference that I notice. That's probably the biggest difference I notice, BY FAR!
 
JLM
#134
It's easy for us to criticise the Americans for not being aware of the rest of the world, but you got to remember Americans have a lot more to concern themselves about their own country than we do. We have 13 provinces and territories to concern ourselves with, Americans have 50 states. We have perhaps a couple of dozen highways, while Americans have hundreds, we have a dozen big cities, Americans have hundreds. We have a few thousand politicians, Americans have mega thousands. If we had to keep track of all the crap they have to we wouldn't have much room left in our heads for much else either.
 
petros
#135
What does anyone really know about Botswana? For all I know it might not be real.
 
JLM
#136
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

What does anyone really know about Botswana? For all I know it might not be real.

I think it's in Africa!
 
Someone
#137
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

It's easy for us to criticise the Americans for not being aware of the rest of the world, but you got to remember Americans have a lot more to concern themselves about their own country than we do. We have 13 provinces and territories to concern ourselves with, Americans have 50 states. We have perhaps a couple of dozen highways, while Americans have hundreds, we have a dozen big cities, Americans have hundreds. We have a few thousand politicians, Americans have mega thousands. If we had to keep track of all the crap they have to we wouldn't have much room left in our heads for much else either.

You hit a LOT of good point there, JLM. In addition to that, like I've said before, for Canada, neighbourly relations only deals with the USA. For the USA, neighbourly relations deals with both Canada and Mexico (and you can even include Cuba), and remember, whatever issues happen at the Canada/USA border are multiplied in severity at the USA/Mexico border - illegal immigration, smuggling, etc. Canada has really only one neighbour that it's mostly concerned about, the USA has two (or three, remember, Cuba is also a major source of undocumented migrants).

And then, there's the fact that the USA tends to be THE major world power that everyone is concerned about - economics, military, politics, etc..... What's going on in Europe and Asia tends to take up more attention than what's going on in Canada, since many of the USA's prime allies and rivals are in Europe and Asia.

Oh yes, 90% of Canadians live within 150 km of the US border, while Americans are more spread out from border to border, coast to coast. That would account for another difference in priorities.
 
L Gilbert
#138
Quote: Originally Posted by The Old Medic View Post

Give some VALID reasons just WHY the average American should be knowledgeable about Canada?

We live next door, Americans like visiting Canada and vice versa, "Eh", Canadians have relatives in the US and Americans have relatives in Canada, Americans like Canadian Club whiskey, Americans hate socialised health care, etc.
 
Spade
+1
#139
The world does not revolve around Americans; it revolves about the poles.
 
L Gilbert
+1
#140
Quote: Originally Posted by ironsides View Post

These people trying to compare Canadians with Americans are really grabbing. We are like two peas in a pod, similar heritage, same language, similar Constitution/Charter. Want proof, just blindfold yourself and cross into either country it will be a while before you notice any subtle differences. You can go to places in Southern U.S. where French is the primary language spoken, other places Spanish and Chinese. We are more alike than unalike.

lol "Crick" as opposed to "creek", "ruff" as opposed to "roof", "rowt" as opposed to "route", etc. lol Yep, really subtle stuff. And don't forget, we are "socialists". lol

Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

The world does not revolve around Americans; it revolves about the poles.

Nope, it rotates on the polar axis, it revolves around the sun. lol
 
Spade
+1
#141
Wouldn't juxtapose. I suppose if I had said the Son....
 
JLM
#142
Quote: Originally Posted by Spade View Post

The world does not revolve around Americans; it revolves about the poles.

And yet not the Ukrainians!
 
B00Mer
#143
[youtube]wUE6Sl79rw8[/youtube]

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[youtube]OPzYVzOUkf8[/youtube]

[youtube]ZHPTiYJYnGU[/youtube]
 
Spade
#144
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

And yet not the Ukrainians!

Or the Serbs, Russians, or Czechs.
Seems unfair, doesn't it?
 
EagleSmack
#145
Quote: Originally Posted by Bar Sinister View Post

Not if you have ears. The accent changes almost immediately.

Unless you cross over in Minnesota.
 
Spade
+1
#146
We'd take Minnesota as a province. Take it over, that is.
Minnesota Death Star - YouTube
 
EagleSmack
+1
#147
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

lol "Crick" as opposed to "creek", "ruff" as opposed to "roof", "rowt" as opposed to "route", etc. lol Yep, really subtle stuff. And don't forget, we are "socialists". lol

LG... do you have any idea how much shiatsu us Yanks (Northerners) use to give our Southern (US) pals when they said "crick" and "ruff" while I was in the Marines?

Then to hear my pal from Western PA join in and say "Damn... y'uns are about stupid."
Last edited by EagleSmack; Apr 14th, 2012 at 09:35 PM..
 
JLM
+1
#148
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Unless you cross over in Minnesota.

Vell, yah!

And of course "zee" as opposed to "zed".
 
Spade
#149
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Vell, yah!

And of course "zee" as opposed to "zed".

And their blue oxen are so cute!
 
EagleSmack
#150
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

Vell, yah!

And of course "zee" as opposed to "zed".

What as opposed to what!?!?