Thinking about cultural differences

Today at work someone asked what cultural differences I was experiencing after moving from Canada to the USA. It’s kind of interesting now that I have been here in California for over a week some things have become more noticeable and some stereotypes are less.

I remember the first few days, a lot of the interactions I had were tinged with my preconceptions that Americans are less polite than Canadians. But looking back, anywhere you go there are going to be nice people and people in a hurry and people with other things on their mind.

Anyways, now that I am fully immersed I can notice some of the subtler things that remind me I am in another country. For one the patriotism here  is amazing. American flags are everywhere. Talking with my coworker about this she told me how there are people who go on their daily jog and carry an American flag for no reason at all. That is ridiculous. Canadians in my experience have only ever been that patriotic if they are IN the Canada Day parade or during the Vancouver Olympic games. The rest of the time we couldn’t care less about demonstrating our nationality. The interesting thing I learned though is that my coworkers saw the intense national pride as sometimes annoying. I guess it could get tiresome to see intense displays of pride for your country day after day. When I see a proud Canadian wearing a flag as a cape I applaud them, but if I cheered every time I saw an American flag I would have very little energy left for other things.

There is something to be said for moderation though it’s great to see so many people united by a symbol like the American flag and the fact that they celebrate it everyday is commendable. Perhaps Canadians could stand to be a little more ‘out there’ when it comes to celebrating our country.


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