Canadian culture

Canada: land of extreme moderation

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Canadian culture, cross cultural | Tags: , , , , |

I just returned from 4 wonderful days visiting family in Quebec. 8 people, 3 languages (Spanish, French and English) and only one speaker fluent in all 3.  My kids are now old enough to be aware of cross cultural differences, especially since it is a constant topic of conversation in our house. My son, who is almost 14, was amazed at how moderate Canadians are. He noticed:

  • That food portion sizes are about 1/3 the size of American food portions. We saw a menu that said you could either order Regular or Moderate size. We still don’t know which is bigger.
  • That people are neither obese nor runway model skinny.
  • That even in subzero temperatures, people are out and about, enjoying themselves without complaint.
  • That streets are clean and people don’t eat while walking.
  • That nobody clapped, whistled, or made noise when a parade passed.
  • That even though there is ice everywhere, people don’t sue each other when they fall down.
  • That beverages are served warm, not hot. It’s even on the menu. When I asked a server to please put my hot chocolate in the microwave to heat it up, she put it on 12 seconds.

quebec-0851If I had to use one word to describe life in Canada, I would say pleasant. Which, I guess, is a moderate definition.

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