• Ashley Nicole

10 Things I Love About Canada

A few months ago, I went to go see the growingly famous musical Come From Away, in the West End. This was especiallyly special for me, as it was a show that I wanted to see when I was back home, which is based upon a significant event that happened in my country, Canada.

Having spent over 4 years of my life living in different countries, it has made me quick to judge my own. To be honest, watching this beautiful show made me reflect on some of the things that truly do make my country wonderful.

Inspired by this show, I would like to share with you 10 things that I love about Canada.

1. It's a melting pot.

This is the term that we use to describe when a mix of cultures and people from all over come together and live as one people group. This results in sharing of cultures and food and creates a variety in people and the sharing of life experiences.

2. Sorry.

Canadians are known for apologizing for everything. You walk into someone, "sorry," run out of something, "sorry," sneezed too loudly, "sorry." If there is something that can be apologized for, we often will. Especially if it is trivial. Yes, sometimes it can be a little much, but at the end of the day, I think it shows some level of politeness and maybe even vulnerability. I think these are two characteristics that maybe the world could use a little bit more of sometimes.

3. Poutine (Yum!)

As I travel, I often come across people who ask me what poutine is, after finding out that I'm Canadian. For anyone that doesn't know, poutine is fries with cheese curds and hot gravy. Sound gross? Ask the people who thought that before they gave it a try - instant conversion. Poutine originates from Quebec and over the years there have been many variants of this recipe to fit all sorts of people and types of events. Is it healthy? Absolutely not. But does it taste amazing? You bet!!

4. Winter sports pride.

One of my most memorable winters was when Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the whole country was sporting red Canadian winter mittens. People wore clothing to support our Canada and there was a special Canadian pride that could be felt across the country. It's not often that we do incredibly well during the summer Olympics, but when the winter comes around, we tend to do quite well (we certainly know our winter sports) and the citizens rally alongside the Canadian athletes. The winter Olympic season is a time that I love as it's something that really brings the whole country together.

5. The four real seasons.

Not every country in the world is fortunate enough to experience such a stark contrast between each of the seasons. Summer is often quite warm, with long days and vibrant colours to be seen. In autumn, leaves change colour to yellow, red and orange, and slowly the leaves begin to fall, leaving the trees bare, just as the weather begins to cool down. Winters are often marked by snowfalls, less daylight and cold weather, factoring in a "windchill" to give everyone an idea of what the frigid temperatures feel like when you walk out of the house. Finally, spring is marked by rain and growth, as days get longer and everything seems to bloom, gearing up again to get ready for another summer.

6. Humanitarianism.

Canadians are often know to be kind. There is a push for social justice as well as a mindset of looking out for others. Last year, the Canadian men in the Rugby World Cup had their final game cancelled due to the typhoon that hit Japan. What did these men do because they couldn't play? They went out and helped clean up where there was a need. It's stories like that that makes me proud to be a Canadian.

7. It's internationally known and loved.

There is something unique about traveling around the world as a Canadian. Often people's faces light up when you tell them where you're from. Maybe they have heard about the funny stereotypes or are intrigued by the people or place itself, but most often Canada is seen in a good light around the world. It is said to be a good idea to travel with a Canadian flag luggage tag on your suitcase to help your travels go more smoothly. Sometimes people from other countries will put on a Canadian luggage tag for the same reasons...

8. It's beautiful.

Along with being absolutely HUGE, Canada has a very diverse landscape. Whether you are out West in the mountains or out East in the Maritimes or the old cities, it is stunning. Canada is a beautiful gem to be explored.

9. We're multilingual.

Having the two national languages, there are many things which are required to be printed in both French and English. These two languages are mandatory to be taught in schools. Although not everyone appreciates the equality with the languages nor will they all remember the basics of the language learned in school, I feel it's something unique to our culture which also helps to make us more well-rounded people.

10. We're friendly.

While shopping in stores, you are often greeted with a "hello" or "how are you?" This has become something that is ingrained into the way that we interact with others, which translates to how we connect with others in "real life" situations. On the street, people are often helpful and do make small-talk, unlike in other cultures where I've lived. When compared to a lot of places, we would be considered a lot more enthusiastic and maybe even more chatty. I think that all of this comes down to being friendly with others.

Are you Canadian or have you visited Canada before? What did you think about this list? Do you think there's anything important that I missed? Tell me about it in the comments below.