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Old 12-17-2017, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
318 posts, read 254,487 times
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Question for our neighbors to the north.

Do Canadians in general put much emphasis on the different provinces in your country? By this I mean a few different things.

In the US, we typically refer to where we are from or where we live by the state we live in or by extension, a part of the state (i.e. "I'm from Pennsylvania" or "I'm from Northwest PA").

Also, I noticed a lot of times in the US, when someone is travelling they will refer to their final destination by the state (i.e. "I'm headed to Nevada" or "We went to Florida for the winter").

Many times, when Americans talk about domestic travel, they will talk about how many states they've travelled to, or that they want to travel to all 50 states.

I realize when it comes to government, Canadian provinces are very different from US states. I also realize that Canadian provinces are on average, much larger (area-wise) than US states.

I guess what I'm asking is, do Canadians put much cultural emphasis on the different provinces as we do the states in the US?
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I notice that we tend to designate areas like "the Rockies", "the Prairies", "out West", "down East" or specify cities as opposed to whole provinces. If I said I was going to British Columbia, it would immediately be asked, which part?, so it's easier to specify the area rather than a whole (large as you noted) province.
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Old 12-17-2017, 12:24 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jFug View Post

...... I guess what I'm asking is, do Canadians put much cultural emphasis on the different provinces as we do the states in the US?

I don't think so. Canadians tend to refer more to the cities than to the provinces. For the most part Canadians already know which provinces and the approximate locations within the provinces that the cities are in, so there's usually no need to mention the name of the province. Unless of course it's to distinguish between two or more cities with the same sounding names but in different provinces. An example of such distinction would be Sydney, Nova Scotia versus Sidney, British Columbia.


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Old 12-17-2017, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
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Agree with all of the above. Partly because most provinces are so large. It doesn't narrow a place down much if you say " I'm heading to Ontario tomorrow ". People would say the city or town, perhaps " southern Ontario " if visiting several towns in that area. Comparing it's size to Texas. Texas is 696,200 km2, and Ontario is 1.076 million km². Quebec even larger.

As for cultural emphasis. I would say yes. Again, these are broken down into regions. Saying you are from Northern BC gives a very different image, than saying you are from the lower mainland.

The maritimes tend to get lumped in together, but Newfoundland, which isn't considered part of the Maritimes, certainly stands out...and of course Quebec.
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Old 12-17-2017, 05:46 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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Meh. I can't afford to fly all over the country either, not if it's just as a tourist to visit places I've never seen. Mind you, if I'm doing any travelling around the country I prefer to do it in my own vehicle anyway. Probably not any less expensive than flying but it's a lot more interesting and I have more personal control about where I go and what I want to do on the spur of the moment.


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Old 12-17-2017, 11:23 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
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...... Please ignore above post ^ which is out of context now since it was in response to other posts that have been deleted.

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Old 12-18-2017, 06:04 AM
 
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To the OP.


Cultural differences...


I live in Toronto ( the capital of the entire planet ) so my day to day life is very different to some one who lives in Dawson Creek Yukon Territory. Dawson is a small place in the Territory with the smallest population of any Territory or Province in Canada. A total of about 35,000 call Yukon home. The economy is strongly centred on mining and tourist services. Most people who live there take it for granted that the cost of groceries is going to be high. On the other hand deer and moose meat is a staple of their diet.

XXX.
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:34 AM
 
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A further example of cultural differences.


Western wheat farmers operate very large tracts of land. If one of them says that they work 4 sections, that is 640 acres, times four . That requires a huge investment in equipment and supplies. A major problem now is the reluctance of the younger generations to "stay on the farm " . They grew up working on the farm and know very well how hard the life is. The weather, the prices of grain, and the ever looming bank loan, is what makes some move away .


On the other hand the modern grain farmer's house can be a large modern home, with all the modern stuff. Central air, a swimming pool, sat TV, computers and $50,000 pick up trucks, and winter vacations in Mexico or Spain. They are land rich but money is tight. The bank loans are huge.


In the small western towns ( Alberta for example ) the homes are smaller and the business owners are focused on providing services to the agricultural operators. A supermarket, a bank, a hardware store, a school, a couple of churches, and the ubiquitous Chinese café.


I don't know why but the Lotus Garden café is a fixture of small towns in the west. It may have a different name but its there, for sure. The owner's kids are very likely to go to University, get an advanced degree and become Medical Doctors, Dentists, Accountants , or Engineers. Their Parents push them hard to climb the ladder so they rise above being the café owner. Some of the homes in that small town will be owned by retired farmers who sold the farm and moved to town, for access to medical care and social life.


In the winter, its curling and snow machines for the younger people. Hockey for the boys and girls. At age 16 its get your driving license to become independent . When the "next town over " is a 30 minute drive, Mom's taxi is kind of a limiting factor in a teens social life. The 16 year old in Toronto may never get a licence, as the bus or streetcar is a 5 minute walk away from their house. The Alberta farm kid has been driving tractors and farm trucks since about age 12.


The Alberta farming communities don't see very many Immigrants. The Toronto population is now about 50 percent comprised of people who were born in another country .


Cultural differences, yeah for sure.


XXX.
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Old 12-18-2017, 11:17 AM
 
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Continuing on "Cultural Differences "


I will compare two religious groups that both exist in Canada, but are almost completely opposite to one another.


The Ultra Orthodox Jews, and the Old Oder Mennonites.


The Ultra Orthodox are mainly centred in Montreal and Toronto. There are a few other populations but the majority are in the two big cities. They are low profile and tend to live in very close proximity to their temple, within walking distance usually. They are family oriented and usually have large numbers of children, who attend private religious schools run by the community. The manner of dress and religious symbols are a visual indicator of the sects. Different styles of hats and over coats also indicate which particular off shoot the person follows. Most of the Ultra Orthodox men do not work, as their main ideal in life is to be Talmudic scholars. The Ultras tend to be very critical of modern values and practices.


The Old Order Mennonites are also a close knit community that follows a religion that has its roots in Europe. Their followers are " plain people " who live in a way that is odd to modern people. Their communities are like communes, because the group shares many things like building a new barn to replace one that burned down. Or trading and bartering rather than paying in money. They are farmers, but some are very good skilled tradesmen, as carpenters, carvers or cabinetmakers.


The Old Order tend to live in a area where there are others of their faith. In Ontario they are found mostly in Wellington and Waterloo counties, to the north and northwest of the twin cities of Waterloo and Kitchener . Their use of horses to work their farms and for local transportation is a common sight I that area. At home they speak a form of German, but in the greater community they speak English, but with a distinct accent. Children attend religious schools, but only to the eighth grade.


A Old Order home will not normally have electric service lines running to it from the road. One of the exceptions to the rejection of modern things is..........a community owned passenger van that is used to take people to the hospital for Doctor appointments. it is usually painted black and any chrome is also painted black. I have seen that here in Toronto at one of the big hospitals.


In the north end of the city of Waterloo, one of the Metro supermarkets has a horse and buggy shed, for the customers who come there with horses. The near by Waterloo county market is open on Saturdays and many of the stalls are operated by Mennonites, both Old Order and Reformed. The goods are cheese, bakery items, maple syrup, eggs. meat and cured sausage, and textiles. The quilts are highly prized, and the better ones cost upwards of $500. Hand made pine furniture is also sold.


Both groups are religious in nature, but the Mennonites are much more involved in the larger community, while the Ultra Orthodox are content to self segregate themselves in their neighbourhoods.




XXX.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Canada
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I think you need to compare Ultra Orthodox with Ultra Orthodox and not with Mennonites. Comparing Russian Canadian Mennonites with Russian American Mennonites (not Old Order), the American Mennonites seem much more assimilated than the Canadian (Russian) Mennonites. Historically, more liberal Mennonites went to the U.S. from Russia or from Canada.
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