How is it really used in Canada anyway
5 Canadian habits that I (unfortunately?) Have adopted
Yes, the habits.
Good or bad, they make us who we are or who we would like to be.
You adopt certain habits from your circle of friends, some others from your family or the city in which you live and also the country.
Since we have been living in Canada for 4 years now, we have of course also adopted certain Canadian customs. Some are admittedly annoying and I don't want to let go of others.
1. Canadian over-friendliness
As many say, the people in Canada are incredibly friendly. On the street it can happen that you accidentally poke someone and the other apologizes to YOU anyway.
In meetings I always find myself apologizing for asking questions. Or during conversations, when someone tells me something about their failed weekend, you apologize to the other out of sympathy.
"Sorry to hear that!" rolls off the tongue very easily.
On the one hand it is really relaxed that you are so polite to each other, on the other hand it can be overkill very quickly. Most of all, I wouldn't normally apologize so quickly, because it's an indirect admission that you've done something wrong. And that is often not the case.
In Canada, people apologize out of politeness, but not because they really mean it. This fact runs through the whole Canadian mentality - say one thing but mean the other. That's typically Canadian. For example, if you're at a party and the Canadian says, “Okay, we should definitely do something together. I'll be in touch for the days! ”, Then that doesn't mean what you and I would accept now. Translated it means something like "we had a good conversation and I want to end it in a nice way, but still be polite and feel good about each other."
That's why being over-friendly is sometimes a little too much for me, because you never know where you really are. It can be nice when they are so nice, but when it comes down to it, I want you to tell me clearly what is going on and only apologize if you mean it.
2. Long weekends in Canada
Yes. There are really limited vacations in Canada. You often start with 10 days.
Yes. 10 days.
You heard right. In my company, we have vacation every 15 days and an additional 3 days for certain occasions. Really crazy when you consider that in Germany you legally have at least 21 days vacation and often actually a lot more.
But that doesn't mean that you won't get your money's worth here. In Canada there are 11 long weekends in the calendar year in which Friday or Monday is a public holiday. And every long weekend - especially in summer - MUST be enjoyed.
You then pack your things and often retreat to the country, out of the city and into the peace and quiet. You get together with friends or family and rent a holiday home (also called a cottage) and spend quality time there with your loved ones.
What I particularly like about this concept is that you don't just go on vacation once a year, but instead enjoy your days off every now and then and make the very best of them - preferably with the people you like the most.
No matter where I am or where I end up, this habit is taken with me. You can explore so much in Europe in particular and be in a new country in no time, so it's totally worth it to go away even for a weekend.
3. Enthusiasm for the Canadian summer
This winter started in November and lasted until what felt like the middle of May. We're talking about 6 to 7 months of snow, freezing cold, rain and hail. On some days everything together. This winter was particularly extreme and we affectionately called it “the polar vortex”. During this time we had -30 degrees, snow and even more snow and a lot of wind.
It's so cold that the wind feels like pinpricks in your face and legs. So cold that you have to protect your face and only your eyes get the free light.
When after such a long time even a few thin rays of sun finally come out, that's a BIG DEAL in Canada. Real Canadians then go out with shorts, hoodies and flip-flops - at 13 degrees. But above all, the summer is used to the last drop.
You go out, you go out, you go out to eat. You do everything that is not inside and you even get a guilty conscience when you spend a nice day within your four walls.
Joie de Vivre is trendy.
And life takes on a new meaning after so long in the dark.
The endless enthusiasm for the summer and for the good weather is something that I have definitely taken on and don't want to be without. This is a habit that leads to greater appreciation for things that others may take for granted.
4. Slang Canadian
There are quite a few things that I have now taken with me through the colloquial Canadian language. Above all, there are sentences like “Yes, a hundred percent”, “I love it”, “amazing” or “this is cute” - super annoying things that would actually only say Toronto basic b * tches. Now I'm one of them - Ha!
But what has mainly become part of my everyday life is the word “eh”. This is used at the end of a question, like "Looking cold outside, eh?" and can be equated with the German “ne”. You say it to get a reaction or an answer, and my partner and I say it a lot. Just like real Canadians.
I don't really want to keep any of these habits, but I can't really get rid of them either. It's just a consequence that you have to live with when you're in a new country and, above all, learning a new language.
5. Small talk anytime, anywhere
Typically Canadian is when you manage to have a chat with a stranger at least once a day. It can be at the cash register, on the train or in the queue in a cafe. Canadians love small talk and what was a little strange at first has now become my DNA.
I like to talk to people I don't know, to be honest. You can have such great conversations without any commitment. Above all, however, it is also a survival technique to make a lot of social contacts at the beginning when you are new in a city or country.
Small talks will continue to belong to me in the future - in proportion and at the right time. There's nothing worse than having to hold awkward small talks with people who seem scary or crazy (there are tons in Toronto).
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