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CanadaThe name Canada comes from the Iroquois word kanata, which means "village" or "settlement." This name was first used by French explorers in reference to the village of Stadacona (in modern day Quebec), then was later expanded to refer to the entire region around Stadacona, the lands along the St. Lawrence, and expanding further until the entire country adopted the name in 1841.

Introduction:

Canadian culture begins with the First Nations people and the Inuit, but today the culture has changed much and only in some ways are these roots visible. These people lived on the land, but never believed they owned it, a concept in complete contradiction to the Europeans who arrived in the 1400s and 1500s. This difference in mentality led to conflict with the immigrating Europeans and vast cultural changes. However, in Nunavut the culture remains quite authentic to that of the past as the Inuit live primarily off the lands.

The traditional way of life was almost wholly lost as the Europeans, primarily the French and English, arrived and settled the land. Their diseases and the Europeans spread west, killing many of the people, although in other cases the First Nations people had their lives changed in another way. With the arriving Europeans, many people became the hunters in the fur trade, leading to wars and the destruction of many people as guns were introduced. In some regions the locals and the Europeans intermarried, but even the children of these couples generally exchanged the aboriginal life for European-styled existence.

Canada's flag is red and white, the official colors of Canada, and on the top is a large red maple leaf, which is the national symbol of Canada due to the maple trees present in the country.

Name: Canada
Independence: July 1, 1867
Capital: Ottawa
Currency: Canadian Dollar
Population: 34,568,211 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: British Isles, French, European, & others
Language: English & French
Religion: Catholic & Protestant

Canada grew slowly compared to their southern neighbor and tensions in Canada remained high as the ethnic French and English never seemed to get along. This was further magnified at the conclusion of the American War of Independence (late 1700s), which led to a massive immigration of British-supporting Americans (Loyalists) to find refuge in Canada. Despite the ethnic tensions, the people shared a common way of life as trade with Europe dominated the economic situation and most people continued to live difficult lives outside of the cities in the cold frontier.

Since independence in the late 1800s Canada has struggled to find a unified identity. The French Canadians in Quebec retain numerous aspects of their past as the French language, food, and religion (Catholicism), are dominant. The English part of the country has opened its doors to economic progress, welcoming more immigrants and, in the 1970s, taking most of Quebec's businesses to dominate the country economically.

Despite this division, the unity of the people is still great and is best represented in numerous cultural phenomenons. Despite the over-use of the stereotype, hockey is not just Canadian, it is what brings the people together in so many ways, from entertainment and recreation to socialization and unity in international tournaments. Hockey is also the greatest example of Canadian culture, not in the sport, but in the culture surrounding the sport, in fact even the country's most famous restaurant, Tim Horton's is named after (and formerly co-owned by) a hockey player by the same name. Canada's culture and way of life today, like hockey, is competitive, but ends with friendly banter and a beer. The people are easy going and about as far as one can get from pretentious. They are welcoming to visitors and immigrants alike as kindness and extending a helping hand are generally considered greater qualities than power, money, or fame.

The Canadians are aware of their place and reputation in this world as they are often overshadowed by larger countries, particularly the United States. Although Canadians may argue, this relationship greatly affects the Canadian people as their way of life is similar in technology, entertainment, culture, and work to the Americans, but more importantly this relationship changes Canada in their continuous need to be different and unique. Canadians are proud of their nationality and the many small differences that distinguish themselves from the Americans; this leads to great competition and hard work, but also at times leads to emphasizing their differences as local restaurants and cultural phenomenon are magnified. Most of the time the Canadians are only focused on their daily lives, not concerned with anyone else, although they remain always aware of the world around them.

Canada continues to be a land of opportunity as immigrants regularly arrive; some of whom become wholly Canadian culturally, while others maintain their cultural roots and way of life. All of these people, both local and immigrant alike, have taken to the digital age as technology takes on a larger and larger role in society today. The people have also used these advances to move forward on numerous environmental initiatives, particularly in large cities, as this is where the overwhelming percentage of the population lives.

Learn More About Canada:

The Land:
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The Past:
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The Food:
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The Culture:
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Map of Canada:

Map of Canada

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Information for Canada was last updated: October, 2012 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks