So people ask if we have Canadian culture or not. In my opinion, Canada has a culture. However, their culture has been eroded to some extent. The culture that Canadians practice is influenced by other peoples culture and that is why I say it doesnt. Canada has a culture since the Canadians have their way of life even though it is borrowed. Canada has many cultures that are unique in a way and which are practiced in different situations; therefore Canada has a culture. About two hundred different languages are found in Canada and this is what has raised questions of whether Canada has a culture. The many cultures in Canada have made it lose its identity and cultural framework.
The indigenous are fighting the idea foreigners coming to Canada and most of them cannot speak English ("Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood," 2009). Language is a key cultural identity that can make a stranger believe that people living in a particular place actually belong there. With the presence of many languages in Canada, it becomes difficult to believe that Canada has a culture of its own.
Although Canada does not have a national language, it has some customs which portrays the presence of culture. The people living in Canada have their own ways of doing things and beliefs which are borrowed from their original homelands. Canadians also value multiculturalism. This could be one of the reasons Canadians culture has been influenced by other peoples cultures.
Citizens in Canada also value regionalism (Creet, 2011). Different people living in Canada follow various regions and doctrines. Regionalism could also be another factor that could have led to the corrosion of the Canadian culture, although there is no significant religion influence on the Canadian culture that has been identified. The native Canadians still follow their own religion.
Regions also affect peoples way of life. In Canada, various provinces are associated with a unique way of peoples life and behaviors. For example, in the Atlantic province, people are seen to be reserved and old-fashioned. In Ontario province, people are seen to be business-oriented and conservative. Depending on their location, most Canadians greet by giving handshakes while maintaining direct eye contact. Conversely, the French Canadians greet by kissing on both sides of the cheeks. These two examples of culture do not apply to everyone in Canada. In giving out gifts, Canadians give gifts during Christmas and also at birthday parties (Holland, 2004). They do not give cash as gifts. The receiver opens the gifts immediately they receive them. In case one is invited to someones place for dinner, they are supposed to take with them a bottle of wine or even a box of chocolates. These are examples of culture in Canada and are followed by the indigenous during the specific occasions.
Native Canadians have their own etiquette rules when dining. Table manners are important to them. They use a fork and a knife while eating: the fork is held in the left hand while the knife on the right hand. When one visit other peoples homes, he or she does not sit until they are shown where to sit, and everyone in the dining room are not supposed to start eating until the hosts have started. The elbows are not supposed to rest on the table during dining time. Despite all these rules, people have the freedom to eat and drink as they want and can freely decline to eat the food they are offered (Litt, 2005). In formal situations like in meetings, the host is the one to give the first toast and the guest gives the toast after meals. That is the culture followed by the Canadians during meals time.
Canadians have some cultural manners to follow during business meetings; greetings in the meeting are done differently from casual ones. They begin their relationships in a reserved manner, keeping distant for formality (McLaughlin & Inglis, 2006)). They call for politeness when running their business activities and require everyone to reciprocate the same to their fellows. During the meetings, one is supposed to shake everyones hand in the meeting immediately they arrive at the meeting venue and during the departure time too. Eye contact is maintained during the shaking of hands and in the case of a man and woman greetings, men are supposed to extend their hands first before the woman extends hers. After the introduction, business cards can be exchanged and surnames are not used to address people, but academic titles can be used. People are supposed to examine the cards they receive before putting them in the card cases. Canadians follow this culture strictly because it is their way of life. They exercise it wherever they go.
People in Canada find it difficult to establish a common communication style for use due to the many cultures involved, but generally communication style exercised is indirect (Walby, 2006). In some fields like in the business field, the communication style is standardized as they practice that in their daily lives. As such, nothing changes even if the business involves people from different parts of the world. Canadians mostly communicate using spoken word and not expressions or non-verbal unless when they are trying to put some emphasis on the spoken words or as part of their communication styles. In situations where someone is accused of something, the person with a claim is supposed to speak boldly giving examples, which will back up whatever they are claiming and most of the time Canadians do not make exaggerated claims. When talking to someone, they keep distance and ensure there is space between them.
Discussions during meetings also follow some protocol and normally start with small talks before they go deeper into the main agenda of the meeting. The meetings are always well organized and the members are supposed to be informed of the schedule in time. The meeting agendas mostly involve the review of proposals where people are required to communicate decisions and make plans. Peoples opinions are also welcomed and noted (Wilton, 2010). Each person in the meeting is given an opportunity to express their opinions. In meetings when presenting something, people are expected to talk facts and the listeners should be strong not to be convinced by someones emotions or passion. The members of the meetings are supposed to think rationally and logically prior to making the decisions.
Another culture that Canadians have and are born with is their polite nature. Although Canadians seem individualistic in terms of their traits, they tolerate anyone and address them with respect. Other people staying in Canada receive and enjoy the good heart Canadians have and the treatment they are given.
The way the Canadians govern themselves is also different from the way other countries do and their culture in governance is unique. Their government constitute of the federal government whose function is to take responsibilities in national and international matters of concern (McLaughlin & Inglis, 2006). The federal government works in close collaboration with the provinces in sharing jurisdiction over immigration and agriculture. It allows the provinces to adopt the policies formed for the benefit of the populations living in them. The provinces have the elected legislative assembly. Canadians government has parliamentary democracy and the parliament has three arms which include the Senate, the House of Commons and the sovereignty that is headed by the queen or the king. These three arms help in governing the country at large by forming and implementing laws. The judiciary which includes the Supreme Court has nine appointed judges. The Supreme Court is further divided into federal court and the provincial courts. The system of governance is unique and this is how the people of Canada live and follow everything stipulated in their government.
Canada has a symbol of the crown on their flags to distinguish it from other countries (Walby, 2006). The crown is not the only symbol as it also has objects, events and people who have a very special meaning to it. Those symbols give a sense of belonging since they tell how important being a Canadian is and gives the people living there an identity. The crown which is a major symbol symbolizes their government, the courts and the services offered by the army to the citizens.
In conclusion, despite Canada being a multicultural place, it has its unique way of life which make its culture. The lifestyle of the native Canadians is different from the foreigners. Though the style of life they lead is influenced by some peoples culture, they have already adapted to it, owned it and they live by their own principles.
Belisle, D. (2011). Virtue and Vice: Consumer Culture in English-Canadian Fiction Before 1940. International Journal Of Canadian Studies, (43), 165. http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/1009459ar
Canadian Content: Culture and the Quest for Nationhood. (2009). The Journal Of Popular Culture, 42(1), 191-193. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2009.00577_7.x
Creet, J. (2011). Transnational archives: the Canadian case. Journal Of AESTHETICS & CULTURE, 2(0). http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/jac.v3i0.7216
Holland, P. (2004). The False Traitor: Louis Riel in Canadian Culture (review). The Canadian Historical Review, 85(4), 832-834. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/can.2005.0027
Litt, P. (2005). The Force of Culture: Vincent Massey and Canadian Sovereignty (review). The Canadian Historical Review, 86(1), 153-155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/can.2005.0076
McLaughlin, N. & Inglis, F. (2006). Culture. Canadian Journal Of Sociology / Cahiers Canadiens De Sociologie, 31(2), 262. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/20058703
Walby, K. (2006). A Great Duty: Canadian Responses to Modern Life and Mass Culture, 1939-1967 (review). The Canadian Journal Of Sociology, 31(1), 153-155. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cjs.2006.0032
Wilton, S. (2010). State Culture: The Advancement of Canadian Values Among Immigrants. International Journal Of Canadian Studies, (42), 91. http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/1002173ar
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