Having the proper knowledge about life overseas including the social and cultural etiquette of the people can be very helpful when planning a visit to Canada. This article aims to help people avoid making a wrong impression in the country.
Understanding what you should and shouldn’t do will provide you with some peace of mind, knowing that you can effectively assimilate with the culture in various settings. Read the rest of this guide to know the common do’s and don’ts when you’re in Canada, whether for work or a visit only.
Be Mindful Of These Things When Visiting Canada
Living abroad has its pros and cons. One of them is culture shock. However, this does not only affect the foreigner or visitor staying in the country, but even the residents who get to socialize with them. To counter this, here are some things you need to take note of to be able to effectively acclimate in a country like Canada:
Do get ready for winter.
This country is known for its cold weather, so make sure to bring all the necessary equipment to protect yourself from the harsh weather. Although it can be cold in some parts of the country during winter, it doesn’t mean that you should avoid visiting Canada.
In Yellowknife, the average high temperature in December is 0 degrees, and in January, it drops to -1 degrees. Throughout the year, expect to see lows of -1 to -1 degrees.
Aside from great skiing and snowboarding, Canada also features various winter activities such as ice skating, snow skiing, and hiking. The country also has low prices for these types of activities.
Do plan accordingly.
Plan ahead and avoid driving during the winter season. Also, make sure to bring enough food and supplies to last for the duration of your stay.
Do come up with a full itinerary.
It’s always a good idea to prepare an itinerary for your upcoming trip to Canada. Being in an earthquake zone can be very dangerous, especially in areas where such as British Columbia.
Canada isn’t the best place to go during the winter months, as it can get very cold. Planning ahead can help ensure that you get the most out of your trip.
Many travellers also avoid the summer months and head to Canada for the beautiful spring and autumn seasons.
Do check out as many places as possible.
Never limit yourself to just certain places. There are many great things about Canada that are not only limited to certain cities. Visit all of its various towns and cities and discover its hidden gems.
From the great outdoors to the cultural attractions, Canada has plenty to offer.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could see all of Canada’s beautiful sights with your own eyes? From the lakes to the mountains, there’s something for everyone in this country.
Canada is a country that will make you feel like you’re in an exotic land. Its vibrant landscapes and unique culture will make you want to stay.
In Canada, about half of its land area is covered in forests. This makes it one of the few countries in the world that has forests – unique places which you should consider visiting when you’re here.
Do watch out for pickpockets and thieves.
Do not be afraid to report a thief. Although Canada is a rich country, it is still prone to theft.
In Canada, the crime rate has declined significantly since 2000, reaching a low point in 2003. The rate of violent crime has also decreased by around 30%, while property crime has also dropped by around 38%.
The severity of crimes has also declined over the years. The Crime Severity Index, which measures crimes’ seriousness, showed that the drug-related crime rate started to decrease in 2011.
The recent legalization of marijuana in Canada is expected to decrease the number of violent crimes. Some of the high-crime areas include Nunavut and Northwest Territories.
Do be sensitive to Canada’s multicultural society.
Be culturally sensitive when communicating with Canadians. They should also respect their country’s diversity.
In most cases, an immigrant’s cultural background or religious background will require sensitivity in the way they discuss life, but more commonly, work. This means not only discussing differences between the cultures of Canada and other countries, but also about how they treat one another.
Do observe proper communication.
Be aware of the difference in communication styles between Canada and other parts of the world. For instance, swearing is not appropriate in Canada.
Although most foreigners are familiar with the Canadian accent, it still has certain characteristics that can be challenging for them.
Canada is known for its low context communication culture. As a result, its people tend to be very direct when communicating. They rely on non-verbal cues.
Unlike in high-context cultures, people in Canada do not put much emphasis on saving face and keeping their feelings in check.
Do apologize quickly when you’ve done something inappropriate, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
If you make a mistake, it’s good to point out and apologise for it before someone brings it up. In most cases, people are forgiven if they acknowledge their mistakes. Despite being involved in an accident, Canadians are still very forgiving. Almost half of them (46%) have driven a car at least once in their lives.
Those who have been involved in a car accident are more likely to endorse forgiveness statements than those who have not.
Also, when it comes to road accidents, Canadians are more prone to offering support than criticism. The majority of Canadians believe that forgiveness is the right way to go.
Don’t go to Canada during the cold season.
For most people, going to Canada is not an option during cold seasons. Also, staying in the country during these cold periods can be very challenging.
Winter is quite cold in most parts of Canada into March. In British Columbia, winters are relatively mild.
While Vancouver gets plenty of snow, the nearby town of Whistler has a lot of it. It’s a major ski destination in the winter season.
In the mountains, the winters can last for several months. Canmore and Banff can get up to 2 feet of snow.
Don’t raise your expectations too high.
Expect the unexpected in Canada. There are some things that are not so pleasant about this country, such as its beautiful weather and the long wait times in various restaurants.
Moreover, Canada has higher living costs than other countries. For instance, buying chicken will cost twice as much as it would in the US.
Clothing and food are both 20% more expensive in Canada than in the US. Some households can manage these expenses, while others find them burdensome.
Some households can manage their expenses, but most find that they are comparable to their current situation.
Don’t always take Canadians for their word.
Since Canadians are prone to making silly statements, never believe them when they tell you that the lake is warm. Also, they are used to being exposed to extremely cold temperatures, so what’s acceptable for them might be extreme for anyone who’s not used to their way of life.
Don’t confuse Canadians with Americans.
If you encounter a Canadian accent, avoid confusing them with the Americans. They tend to be more reserved and less sociable, which could make them a negative comparison.
Despite the differences in their cultures, Americans and Canadians are have some common ground. There are, however, people from other countries who do not recognize the difference. In the end, it is not as if Americans and Canadians are from the same countries.
Aside from being different, Canada’s culture and its cold weather make it different from the US. Despite the odd nature of their cultures, Americans and Canadians actually have some similarities.
Do not get into the habit of contending your views with Canadians.
If you’re planning on having a discussion about a controversial topic, avoid becoming overly combative. Instead, approach the issue with a calm and open mind.
As a guide, remember that money, politics, sex, and religion are the topics Canadians avoid talking about. A survey revealed that 40 per cent of Canadians would not talk about money even with their partner.
Do not mistakenly identify the indigenous people of Canada.
Do not refer to indigenous Canadians as Indians or Natives. Instead, use terms such as Aboriginal or First Nations.
Not recognizing the cultural diversity of Indigenous Peoples in Canada is a common mistake made by non-Indigenous people.
Canadian society values cultural diversity. This is evidenced by the fact that many people from other countries consider Canada as their home.
In general, Canadians are polite and caring people who value the privacy and individuality of others.
While many Canadians fail to follow these lofty principles, they still provide the essence of good manners in mainstream society.
On the other hand, most rude gestures in Canada are done knowingly. This means that they can be easily avoided.
With these things in mind, you should now be able to act accordingly, especially in public settings where the things listed above will apply significantly.