On Being Canadian

Andrew Q., M1

Bonjour-Hi to my fellow Canucks! Whether you are joining us after attending undergrad in the U.S., have just crawled out of your igloo, or if you are just tired of being asked if you are actually international, I’ve assembled a few survival tips for navigating any tricky culture clashes that might come up.


  • Say “sorry” a lot. Americans enjoy feeling like they are right.
  • Get used to subtracting 32, dividing by 9, then multiplying by 5 to have any idea what the weather is like.
  • Laugh merrily at people complaining about how cold it is. Anything above freezing is beach weather.
  • Sing “O Canada” over their anthem whenever it plays. I mean real, top-of-your-lungs, poutine-fueled bellowing — how else will they know we’re there?
  • While we’re on the topic, tell Americans about poutine. If enough of them learn of the wonders of French fries, gravy, and curds, they will surely be no match for our Mounties and polar bear special forces. We attack at daybreak.


  • Talk hockey. Most Americans are not capable of understanding your appreciation for the intricate art of dirty dangles, wheel snipes, and cellies.
  • Acknowledge the existence of Bieber. Deny, deny, deny.
  • Say “double-double”, “zed”, or “bag” like “beg”. Americans are easily startled by foreign noises.

Hopefully these tips are of help as you go forth amongst Americans and pass as one of their own. The less they know, the better, eh?