You Thought You Knew About Canada...
There are lots of myths about Canada. They range from the potentially believable right through to the completely ridiculous. We Canadians have had enough. I'm here to set the record straight on the most widely believed myths about our beloved country.
1. Hockey is Canada's national sport
This one is partly true. Until 1994 Canada's official national sport was lacrosse. Since then the honour has been shared by lacrosse and hockey. Hockey is however far more popular than lacrosse and is considered by many to be our national pastime. If it were up to me, hockey alone would have the honour but I don't make the rules.
2. Canadians are isolated
Canadians are no more isolated than Americans. Actually, the number of Canadians and Americans who live in cities and towns as compared to rural living is at just over 80% for both nations. Canada is a larger country than the United States with about 1/10 the population. Canada itself has more far-reaching, uninhabited area than the USA, but our city/rural living ratio is almost exactly the same!
3. Canada has no film industry
Nothing could be further from the truth. Canada actually has a thriving film industry that employs thousands. Most of the filming in Canada happens in the Vancouver and Toronto. Many big name movies have been filmed in Canada including Titanic, Twilight, and hundreds of other movies with big time A-list actors and actresses. Vancouver has actually earned the nickname of "Hollywood North" for it's thriving film industry.
4. Mounties wear red uniforms
As far as myths about Canada go, we do a pretty good job of perpetrating this one. The Canadian mounties are commonly depicted in a uniform consisting of a red jacket, black pants, knee-high boots and a flat-brimmed beige hat. That uniform is more or less for ceremonial use only this day in age, although it's an accurate depiction of mounties in decades past. The modern mountie uniform looks much more like a typical police uniform. Dark pants with a yellow stripe down the side, beige shirt, blue bullet-proof vest and a typical police hat are common.
5. We speak with a stereotypical Canadian accent
This can be true, but isn't typically. Most of you have probably seen a television show poke fun at Canada with the stereotypical speech like "ah-boot" rather than about and "eh". This is partially true. There are parts of Canada where a thick Canadian accent is very detectable (typically Eastern provinces and rural areas) but most Canadians speak in a manner virtually identical to our American neighbours. This would be like assuming that all American's speak with a thick Southern drawl. Some do, but not all.
There are lots of myths out there about Canada. This is by no means an exhaustive list but a testament to the fact that you shouldn't form an opinion on Canadians based only on what you've seen on Saturday Night Live skits. Although Canada has it's own distinct culture, major Canadian cities are in most ways not discernible from large American cities. It's the rural areas where our culture really shines.