Oh yes, the stereotype of the Canadian being too “nice” is true!
How to define Canada? It’s not always easy to pinpoint exactly what being Canadian means. Often, Canada is compared to its neighbour to the south. Yes, we share a border with Americans, but we are not really the same. Many immigrants who come to Canada for the first time have most of their impressions based on what they see in the movies, but Hollywood is in the United States, not Canada. While the two countries have similarities, there is something unique about Canada as a country and a people, compared not only to the United States, but also to other countries around the world.
As Nick Noorani recalls in his book, 365 Tips for Newcomers, “I remember driving on Georgia Street in Vancouver for the first time and we were hopelessly inept at understanding a map. We paused to ask a cyclist for directions and he said, ‘No problem, just follow me.’ We followed him to the location in the opposite direction to where he was going! This is one of so many stories I have experienced and heard from immigrants. What makes Canada different? I believe it is the people.”
Like any other country, Canada has had a controversial history with examples of intolerance and discrimination, from the treatment of the Chinese rail workers brought in to build the Trans-Canada Railway to the treatment of its Aboriginal Peoples, and some forms of discriminations still exist. However, it’s a different country today, where you can find immigrants at the highest levels of government and industry. The do not reach such heights because they are or are not immigrants, but because they are good at what they do and were accepted in this great country as equals. With the right attitude, anyone can be accepted and succeed in Canada!
Tip 1: Cause change and lead; accept change and survive; resist change and die. — Ray Norda, businessperson
Your decision to move to a foreign country brought change to your life. Now you must do whatever is necessary to make it fruitful.
Celebrate Canada Day on July 1 with 364 more tips for newcomers from Nick Noorani’s book, 365 Tips for Newcomers: Your First Year in Canada. If you’re thinking of moving to Canada, Noorani’s other book, Immigrate to Canada: A Practical Guide, will show you the available options.