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 Canadians are Different: Illustrating "Showing not Telling"

Canadians are different from other nationalities in a few interesting ways. Since I’ve travelled quite a bit, I’ve noticed some things about us that make us different. One of these relates to lining up. Canadians are quite orderly. When a line forms, people will often ask politely, “Is this the end of the line?” and then wait patiently. Yes, very patiently actually. It is rare to hear anyone complain if a line is moving slowly, or even if it is not moving at all. Of course, this applies only to standing, and not to driving where Canadians behave quite differently! Another way we behave differently is in our homes. Many cultures have an “open door” at their house; this is not true for most Canadians. Once, a student of mine arrived to my home one Saturday afternoon without any notice. I didn’t know what to do. After a few uncomfortable minutes, he realized that he was not welcomed, as he was when we had had the student party earlier that month. I felt embarrassed for him, since he had not realized how “private” our homes are to us. If we invite you, then you are most welcome, however. Tonight, I learned about more interesting and unusual behaviours of ours through the eyes of new Canadians.

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 (March 11, 2000)