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What does it mean to be Canadian?


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In either case, what we have here is an excellent example of Canadians not being able to define themselves without Americans as a foil. Canada...the UnCola.

Actually, I saw a wide variety of personal opinions on this thread. In fact, I believe we were doing just fine defining ourselves until some AMERICANS started to define us in relation to you.

Just because we are a diverse country doesn't mean we don't have national unity. Seattle has more in common with Vancouver than it does with Houston, does that mean there is no American unity?

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Actually, I saw a wide variety of personal opinions on this thread. In fact, I believe we were doing just fine defining ourselves until some AMERICANS started to define us in relation to you.

Just because we are a diverse country doesn't mean we don't have national unity. Seattle has more in common with Vancouver than it does with Houston, does that mean there is no American unity?

My post was in specific reference to your exchange with another member, not this entire thread. American unity is not this thread's topic, but yet again it creeps in as an example and point of reference.

Would that be Houston BC or Houston Texas? Both have ferries.

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  • 1 year later...

To get back to my point, I don't think people in Quebec have much problem explaining what it means to be a Quebecer (although they will take tremendous pleasure in explaining all this for hours on end... )

This thread's real (implicit, hidden) question is: what does it mean to be English Canadian?

To refer to BC2004's post above, how are northern English-speaking North Americans different from southern English-speaking North Americans? You live on the same continent, suffer roughly the same climate, enjoy the same space, speak the same language. In the grand scheme of things, how are you really different?

It makes more sense to refer to English-speaking North Americans - just as everyone refers to Latinos.

Edited by August1991
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No matter how you interpret it, has to be one of the dumbest things jbg has ever said.

That's saying a lot. :lol:

But I'm sticking with this one

As far as the animals go though, I'm quite sure they understand what penetration by a sexual organ feels like and with their ample hooves or teetch could quite effectively stop it from happening.
Edited by BubberMiley
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Do you think that the differences among various Latino groups is greater or lesser than the difference between the United States and Britain, for instance?

I doubt that you can really do justice to what Canadians are by trying to essentialize them in a single sentence. We are, more complicated than that.

Another problem with trying to define Canadians, at least on a forum, is that there are many who most definately do not fit the generalization.

But I will venture that one thing that I think may be a part of being Canadian is the general feeling that while you may think you live in one of the best countries in the world, that does not lead you to believe that you are more special than the people of other countries. I think that that may feed into some of our ideas on multiculturalism.

In any case, it is not as if Canada and the United States are demographically the same. They are quite different when you really break things down into ethic groups.

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But I'm sticking with this one

I love being quoted out of context. My point was that most animals could stop human sexual advances on them.

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Well obviously you're entitled to your opinion, but I clearly disagree. At any rate, I think one's perception of what it means to be Canadian is directly related to how you view the United States. You're either trying to prove that being Canadian is entirely different than being American, or you're trying to prove how similar Canadians are to Americans.

No matter how you interpret it, has to be one of the dumbest things jbg has ever said.

It was a joke, period.

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Guest American Woman
But I will venture that one thing that I think may be a part of being Canadian is the general feeling that while you may think you live in one of the best countries in the world, that does not lead you to believe that you are more special than the people of other countries. I think that that may feed into some of our ideas on multiculturalism.

Maybe not "more special," but perhaps more superior? At least when it comes to comparisions with the U.S.-- because the way I see it, a lot of Canadians do think they are morally superior to Americans/the U.S.

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Maybe not "more special," but perhaps more superior? At least when it comes to comparisions with the U.S.-- because the way I see it, a lot of Canadians do think they are morally superior to Americans/the U.S.

Nah... we just have problems with your government - just as we have problems with our own.

Personally, I wish we had the US Constitution as our own. It is truly one of the most admirable ideological documents ever created. Very sad, and overwhelmingly tragic how your land (and ours) has been hijacked by corporate/banking whores.

Easy to do when one dumbs the populations down though, eh?

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Maybe not "more special," but perhaps more superior? At least when it comes to comparisions with the U.S.-- because the way I see it, a lot of Canadians do think they are morally superior to Americans/the U.S.

True enough, perhaps, though I suspect that that particular feeling is (generally) mutual.

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Guest American Woman
True enough, perhaps, though I suspect that that particular feeling is (generally) mutual.

You're right. There are a number of Americans who think they are superior to Canadians (and everyone else), but these Americans do think they are "special." I don't deny that. So I was just questioning the "Canadians don't think they are special..." remark.

Edited by American Woman
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It means being a work in progress.

It means constantly re-evaluating oneself.

It means balancing tradition and the ever-changing realities of the modern world.

It means compromise (as someone said earlier).

It means listening and empathizing.

It means we believe civility and good government are a solution to many problems.

It means saying sorry when someone else bumps into you.

^^^^

I know it's random, but it's all I got right now.

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  • 2 months later...
Do you think that the differences among various Latino groups is greater or lesser than the difference between the United States and Britain, for instance?
That's an incorrect comparison.

What is the difference between a Chilean and an Argentinian? Now then, what is the difference between an American and an English-Canadian?

----

As I noted above, this thread's topic is really: What does it mean to be English-Canadian? This is a legitimate question and it's sad that many people in English-Canadian have never faced it properly.

"Canada", of course, is an entirely different entity.

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In either case, what we have here is an excellent example of Canadians not being able to define themselves without Americans as a foil. Canada...the UnCola.

I very much agree with you that whenever there is a discussion of what being Canadian is we define it as not what we are but what we are NOT and so precisely as you said, the we are not American device is part of that defining who we are by what we are not.

In fact I would go so far as to say a distinct Canadian characteristic is defining who we are by what we do not think we are precisely because our identity has been created by being all things to all people and so now we have no idea what that means.

In the U.S. you have the melting pot identity-out of many comes one identity. In our country we emphasis being a bit of everything to avoid being rude and insensitive.

Our country was founded by people who were polite and wished to avoid confrontation and rebellion. That is precisely why we created a legal framework for out nation that would permit an on-going neevr ending process of defining identity by balancing 4 components, the aboriginal, British and Frernch components and the OTHER component, every one else who does not fit in the other 3.

Canada continues to define its identity as all inclusive and so when people try discuss it the only way they can explain it is to try state what they do not think is included since trying to explain all the things it includes is cumbersome.

Now Bush-Chaney here is my definition of a Canadian;

1-someone who loves to wait in line unless they have recently come from Asia, Latin America or Eastern Europe

2-someone who stops at a red light and does not cross the street until it turns green

3-someone who does not wear a winter coat until February

4-someone who knows what a snow tire is for and when to use them

5-someone who thinks Rita McNeil is adorable

6-someone willing to pay a fortune to pay to see a hockey game with some loser team from a Southern American city

7-someone who prefers 3 down football

8-someone who knows what a wolverine is

9-someone who does not thing a beaver is a part of the female anatomy

10-same comment as 9 but in regards to the term beaver-tail

11-someone who thinks Stephen Harper has a nice hair cut

12-someone who still buys a Ford or GM product

13-someone who thinks they are superior to Americans

14-someone who thinks the rest of the world knows they are Canadian and not American

15-someone who can't speak English without some kind of accent.

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I think Canada's as much like the US as Syria is like Israel.

LOL. Truly one of the most dumb-assed posts I have seen here yet. Some people will do anything to drag the Middle East into everything.

So which are we? Syria or Israel? We're Syria because Harper is an autocrat or we're Israel because our politicians are corrupt? Or is it the other way around. Oh wait. It's because we have no water. Wait... wait...

IT'S IN THE BATHROOM.

LOL.

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Thank heavens nobody mentioned the Joe Canadian rant.

While Molson's was pushing that crap on us they were selling the Montreal Canadiens to a businessman from Washington. A new low for cynicism in advertising - if that's possible.

The Montreal Canadiens were the New York Yankees and Manchester Uniteds of hockey. When I was a kid, my hockey skates were Boom Boom Geoffrion signatures! The Montreal Canadiens were a hockey machine!

For me, being Canadian is never drinking another bloody bottle of Molsons beer.

Edited by HisSelf
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  • 9 months later...

To me being a Canadian is to be the centre of the universe - a place where all the tribes gather together from all over the planet and prove that humanity is not a race of mad preditorial animals - that a heaven on earth can exist..that poverty and war can be vanquished - that human dignity is valued ------and the life of one is worth the lives of a million and one...Canada - is the new Jerusalem ---it's flag states - this leaf is for the healing the the nations - the healing of all families on earth....It may just be an experiment that actually works...I have faith in this place..we are hope in the eyes of the whole world ---we are the light of the world..and we do not ask as the Americans do "God Bless" - we bless each other as God intended...besides - those that say God Bless are to damned cheap to do it themselves..

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What does all this mean?

There is no single Canadian identity because many Canadians are unilingual but don't speak the same language.

I'm not certain multiculturalism means anything more than interesting costumes and food during summer festivals. It was originally intended as a means to get English Canadians to accept the French Canadians who live in their midst.

The broader issue of what English-Canada is still seems elusive. I wouldn't look to the CBC or the Liberal Party of Canada for a good answer.

You want this Oleg, you got it.

What is English Canada?

Edited by August1991
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You want this Oleg, you got it.

What is English Canada?

It's the fading displaced anglo tribe I so cherish that adopted me as a child into their nation - what was their nation to begin with..but I did land with a boat in Quebec City...I guess being less than a year old and being born in Britian I was already indoctrinated into dispising France and the French.. :lol: English Canada still exists - but I am afraid that our immigrants will breed them out of existance - that is what Trudeau's long term plan was....English Canada is still those that are left that understand that the Queen is the Queen and we are a kingdom...I kind of like that - that we are under royal care and wardship - that is about it..that's what English Canada is..those still loyal to mum.

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Also: It was not the immigrant from Paksitan or China that opened the door to my father and mother - and took us in...it was the English..it was what we once called "Canadians" It was Britian that granted my father santuary after ww2 - It was not the Germanics..it was not the French - English Canada..were the saviors of a family on the run from revolution and war...I just wish that all immigrants would understand how kind and good the Christians of ENGLISH CANADA were and are - it was they who still grant mercey to the oppressed and displaced.

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