The Culture of Canada
Canada is a vast country with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Canadian culture is considered by many to have its roots in the culture of the United States of America. Though they do share certain similarities, Canada has developed a distinctive culture. A variety of influences have formed what is considered culture in Canada today, this includes native cultures, traditions from the French and British settlers and a touch of Celtic flare.
As Canadians come from a variety of backgrounds, religions and race groups, it can be difficult to distinguish what exactly Canadian culture is. Differences can be seen in the identity of English and French Canadians. Canadians recognize that multiculturalism forms an integral part of their society. Many variations in beliefs, traditions, customs, arts and so forth can be seen in the country. Despite this, a common Canadian culture appears to run through all. Let us consider some of these.
When introduced to someone else Canadians will shake hands. Typically they will not greet friends with hugs or kisses. It is best when addressing an older person to use their title (e.g. Mr., Mrs, etc) and surname unless they invite you to do otherwise. Canadians are usually relaxed and casual at home often taking off their shoes and hats in the house. Smokers in the company of others should ask for permission before lighting up as smoking is becoming very unpopular. Canadian society is relatively open and without class distinction. Canadian culture accepts people of all types, affording them equal respect and rights.
As in all societies, the arts play a vital role in the culture of Canada. Following World War Two, the arts took off like a rocket, with much assistance from the government. Early painters from Canada were mostly influenced by European art works. The Group of Seven are considered the first artists to create distinct Canadian art. Since that time a variety of styles have been used by painters in Canada. Well-known Canadian painters include Emily Carr, Jean-Paul Riopelle, David Milne and Harold Town. Canadian sculpture began with Inuit carvings from soapstone and ivory, giving insight into Inuit life. Canadian literature can be separated into two sections, namely English and French, together forming what is uniquely Canadian. Three particular factors of Canadian experience is seen in the literature, these are nature, frontier life and Canada in the world. Many world renowned literary figures have come out of Canada.
Whilst visiting this fascinating country you will gain even more insight into Canadian culture. Why not take the time to get to know people from all sorts of backgrounds and thus become truly acquainted with culture in Canada.