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How Canada Is Perceived In The Usa?

Discussion in 'Debate Archives' started by SeaJunky, Jan 10, 2012.

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    SeaJunky A devoted man causes fear in his opposition

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    I am curious about how Canada is perceived in your classes at a High School level if seen at all and by media around the country? To be honest I know each country has arrogant and ignorant people, Canada does too but if one thing is for certain the amount of bashing made towards Canada by Americans on the Internet is surprisingly high to say the least. From YouTube comments on certain videos to the more recent event that occurred tonight while my sister was playing an MMORPG. The discussion in the chat box somehow turned to a full open Canada bashing night where it seemed an army of mentally 8 years old had been unleashed and their mission was to say the most ignorant comments on Canada and the worst is while they are the most ignorant comments one could see, I often end up finding them to be the ones the most said overall as such I am starting to be curious as to why and where these comments find their roots especially since some seem to truly believe they are saying the truth too?

    While Canadians at times find and say things about USA that aren't overly nice either I tend to see that we at least can recognize the USA for positive things too but like tonight not one of the Americans online (they were well over 10) didn't seem to show any signs of joking or even knowing Canada for more than what they were saying. I have heard multiple times the joke about Canada being the hat of USA or us living all in igloos but they are jokes in most cases except that some I have seen seem to almost believe them as truth which is slightly scary to imagine such beliefs about a country still true today especially when they are technically allies...

    I am pretty certain I am dealing with a minority but it pushes me to question myself on where they ended up finding such comments as to even call us like one of them said a non-existing country which in itself is pretty damn amusing since if we didn't exist might as well tell me what I am? As such my question is where does Americans get these supposedly facts on Canada? Do you guys get them from classes, media or your parents? I am not putting all Americans in the same boat and I'd like to make myself clear on that, I have met wonderful people who were Americans who weren't ignorant about my country but in all honesty out on the Internet the ignorant one seem to be the most talkative ones as such they appear as a majority when looking at it quickly but to see so many have the same statements they must be getting them from somewhere?
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    Alandree track a ghost through the fog

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    I could have written that post, I feel the same! There's strange, irrational hate for Canada that I do not understand and it really annoys me.
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    Felix Interactive Literaturist

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    I don't think I count, as I am Alaskan, and while we are a part of the USA... we aren't a part of the USA. And a lot of us would like to really not be a part of the USA.

    But for my two cents? I would probably rather move to Canada than many US cities. When I go out of state the culture shock is harsh.
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    SeaJunky A devoted man causes fear in his opposition

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    I know and it annoys me too, I mean I could accept one hating Canada if they actually had a good reason but I haven't seen many good reasons come out from those who hate us on the American border but once again I might be facing a minority.



    I've met through my travels on the Internet some fascinating views on Alaska too by Americans themselves and while I am curious to see where people got their ideas on Canada, what I hear from some Americans about how some don't even know about Alaska a state in their own country is surprising to say the least.
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    Felix Interactive Literaturist

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    This is from Nov. 2006

    This is better from when my parents moved up in '75, when 48% didn't know. We are a young state, 1/5 of the North American continue, five time zones, and less than a million people statewide, most of whom live in Anchorage, our largest city.

    Canada is always fall, and Alaska is always winter. How very Narina of us :D
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    SeaJunky A devoted man causes fear in his opposition

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    This could fit for how certain American sees us. I mean living in igloos literally demands winter all year long to keep the snow intact and all. Worst I ever saw was this guy who thought we had moose as our domestic animals in our backyard..... I was like where did you get that idea from? o.0
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    Felix Interactive Literaturist

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    And bears go shopping: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oPHu8s5xNU
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    Chekhov's gun we're not animals, we live in a society!

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    Coming from someone that lives very close to Canada and used to visit on weekends and eat your food and make 'ooooh' sounds at your money being different, I know a little bit on the subject of the country (a very little, because I used to visit Windsor a lot, it isn't like I was going very far into the country), and I've brought up Canada in person, because of my visiting occasionally, but I've never actually met or talked to anyone in person that actually believes the things that people say about Canada. Americans joke about Canadians living in igloos and eating nothing but Canadian bacon and maple syrup and riding moose to work, but I've never met a person that believes it!

    But, to contribute, there is one misconception that I run into a lot, and that's the notion that you're all very very nice, to the point of being pushovers. My friend and I made a roleplaying friend from Canada, and we went through all the usual jokes and the like, like raised by polar bears and so on. But then she mentioned that's probably why our friend was really nice, because all Canadians are nice, clearly, and she commented on how he probably apologized to people when they walked into him. Which cracked me up, not because of her assumption that an entire country was really nice, but because of the way she said it, like saying sorry to someone that bumped into you on a street was unheard of in any other country, hahah.

    Also: bagged milk. I've heard fables of that, no idea if it's true, though.
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    Elayne Hermione can't draw.

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    I grew up and live along the border in New York, and we went over into Canada quite a bit before they changed the passport requirements around. I always really liked it a lot, though I've only been to Toronto and the 1000 islands area, so I'm not sure if that counts XD

    I've met people who make jokes about Canada, but like metaphorical said, I don't think any of them actually believe in what they've said. Most of us have been over too, so there's that added level of experience. But we never really talked about Canadian history or culture in class, unless it was dividing the border between the US and Canada or it was the French kids talking about their trip to Quebec City. I took Spanish, so I guess that puts me at even more of a disadvantage.

    As for the thing about Canadians being polite, they were always some of the nicest customers at the amusement park I worked at one summer. I know that doesn't speak for the whole country, but still. The only time people seem to get irritated with the Canadians is when we're fighting with them for a parking spot at one of the popular malls during the holiday season XD

    My dad's grandmother was Canadian and they used to have bagged milk when they visited her! I haven't actually seen it in person though.
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    Fangaire Member

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    Note that it's not all Americans who "hate" Canada please. i am from the south and while I visited once I thought Canada quite pleasant. Except fro the giant mosquitoes. I could have done without those scary buggers. But anyway not all Americans hate Canadians. that's like saying all Canadians hate Americans because it's starting to feel that way. I am sorry if Canadians are misrepresented but America misrepresents itself within its own country. i bet if I told you all i came from Oklahoma I bet you would think I was a country long cowboy singing does powwow dances. Well i don't. I live in the city and I hate the outdoors.

    Also without Canada we wouldn't have The Red Green Show and Michael J. Fox :p So I love you guys and I appreciate what you contribute. But please, not all Americans hate you. ^^
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    Chekhov's gun we're not animals, we live in a society!

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    That seems so hard to pour, I don't get it. xDD
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    SeaJunky A devoted man causes fear in his opposition

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    Us being pushovers I've heard often but it's definitely a misconception at least for the Quebec province since I know we can be quite rude and cold especially to English speakers due to this fear of being assimilated that goes to the beginning of British occupation of North America.



    Hopefully it is true but whenever I see people starting to defend Canada on chats due to these comments the ones who say them start repeating it in a manner as if they were really using it as an argument. -_-



    I wasn't trying to say that all Americans hated us but on the Internet often times it seems like so on the YouTube channels or in video games but once again I might be facing 12 year olds who truly have nothing better to do than hate on everyone.



    The only state I know of in my entourage that has some reputation of cowboys for some reason is Texas... Otherwise I usually don't categorize Americans as cowboys.



    Click Here

    That's how my milk is so it isn't a fable =D The jug doesn't make it that hard to pour actually and it's pretty easy. =)
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    Meushell *Squeal!*

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    I live in California, but I haven't been in high school since 2000.

    To be honest, I've heard of Canada be referred to as "America-light." For the most part, Canada wasn't really mentioned. I don't think people put much thought into Canada. History lessons involved America and Europe.
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    Melian's Girdle The Dreaded Purple Person

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    That's one I understand. Living in South Africa, I am generally assumed to have Zebra in my back yard. Which, by coincidence, I do, but that's far from the norm.

    But as to the America-Canada feud, I don't really get it. Our perception of Canada (excepting whatever filters through on American TV Programs), is pretty much that it's cold, and that apart from having cleverer (or perhaps merely quieter) political leaders, it may as well be America.

    As I say, most of what South Africans get on this issue is from TV - usually American, and occasionally Canadian. I once saw an episode of the American, "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader" (or whatever it's called) where a woman couldn't remember what country was on the northern-most border of the US. My own views on the Canada-bashing thing is probably best expressed by "How I Met Your Mother":

    "Oh, right, I forgot, you guys are weird. You pronounce the word 'out' 'ouut.'"
    "You guys are the world leader in handgun violence, your healthcare system is bankrupt, and your country is deeply divided on almost every important issue."
    "...Your cops are called 'mounties.'"
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    RomanHk t(^_^t)

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    Just be glad you aren't France, eh? XD
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    Lindsay Member

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    In a brief statement, Canada is primarily held in good stead, at least with people I know. I, for one, have many friends from Canada. As you mentioned earlier, there are always going to be naysayers, and no country is perfect (America is a perfect example of that, that's for sure!). But I think Canada is a good, respectable country that I wouldn't mind visiting, or even making some research to live there for an extended period. I'm a cultural fanatic, haha. In addition, most misinformation as a whole really comes from parents and adults that are too closed minded to even give a rip, and are generally that way about everything. Intelligent people, of which there are few in the world, I'm sure, will actually do their research before making such irrational claims on a country and its people.
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    Lennon Member

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    I live on the East Coast and I personally have never encountered anyone with hostility towards Canada. Nor I have heard of the jokes about living in igloos and such. It's usually the politeness/pushovers thing, the accent, and hockey (and maybe a maple syrup joke here and there), but that's about it.

    As far as how Canada is perceived in classes, Meushell hit it right on the nose:

    I think it's safe to assume that all countries, when it comes to history and civics and that sort of thing, make their own a priority over all others. The US is obviously no different, but I've heard, and I don't know how true it is, that most countries learn about the US as well. How deeply they go into it, I don't know, but I find that some people from different countries are better educated about this country than some who live here. And even if they don't really study it, everyone knows of the US for better or for worse.

    The US is also unique in that the entertainment industry is oversaturated by our media and has been for years so nearly every person in the UK, Australia, Canada, or wherever can name a tv show, film, or band that comes out of the US. Our culture is more exposed to others and though it might not be the best method for other countries to learn about us, it is a learning tool. The more that's out there, the more one can see what the people are like, what our issues are, etc. even if they are fictionalized and exaggerated.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work the same way for us. I haven't been in high school for some years so perhaps things have changed, but from what I remember, Canada wasn't covered much, if at all, in classes so I think a lot of our preconceived notions about Canada come from word of mouth or the media and that's not much. I mean, right now Justin Bieber is sort of the poster boy for Canada for a lot of people because they know he comes from there and that's about it. And that's plenty for some people.

    Admittedly, what I really know about Canada couldn't a fill a thimble (although I can sing O Canada--that's got to count for something, right? XD), but what I do know gives me no reason to hold a grudge against it and I find it strange that anyone would have an issue with Canada that didn't have a personal reason for it, but that is the way of the world I guess.
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    Sael_1 Guest

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    To begin with I thought Bieber was American. Not sure if Canadians would prefer that. >_>

    Anyhoo its a weird thing because I do not think generalising does much for anyone but my experience on the internet has been that Canadians are invariably less intense than Americans. Also, the whole gun, healthcare stuff mentioned before... Obviously no country is perfect but Canada appears less, um, extreme than America with this kind of thing?

    Canada is actually on the top list of countries myself an my partner would emigrate to and last I read you guys get a lot of British immigrants so yeah... whatever that counts for xD
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    SeaJunky A devoted man causes fear in his opposition

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    I know most people I know of in my age would prefer him not being Canadian xD

    As for Lennon it is perfectly normal that USA is learned about since the country in itself has been on the forefront of many events and one can't deny that. They have their culture installed in a lot of countries so to learn about them is close to impossible and I understand that we aren't seen much in your classes and I am not frustrated by it, I was just curious where those I encountered got their foolish jokes about it or some of their ignorance.

    I know for one a certain show on Fox News made the headlines a few years back and while I can understand ignorance is found everywhere when it appears on television like this it's harsh to just sit back and say "Ah whatever just some comedians with bad jokes". The animator apologized to Canada as a whole later on but he said along the lines that we had misunderstood them but I mean... is there any other way to see this than ignorance at its best? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwwMccb9b8Y

    Overall not all Americans are like this and I understand that and am grateful that it is a minority that is not correct.
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    Alandree track a ghost through the fog

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    For the record, I remember learning about the States in school multiple times in multiple years, and was a bit shocked to see that you don't tend to learn the same of us. I assumed it would be logical to educate kids about their country's neighbours. Apparently not?

    I encounter tons of Canada-bashing in the US media that I see all the time. It actually really upsets me, and you may say that it's just because I don't know how to take a joke, but it just is really freaking offensive most of the time.

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