Canadian culture: not too different from Australia

It probably seems that similarities between Canada and Australia would rule out any culture shock from occurring when making a visit to Canada. Both countries speak mostly English, enjoy high levels of health and education, and are developed, stable and democratic nations.

Looking at Canada in a little more depth has helped to draw out some cultural differences which may cause discomfort or anxiety for prospective Australian travellers. Whilst there isn’t one overarching factor, there are a few little things which may contribute to some degree of culture shock.

A visit to Australia may be prototypically greeted by a ‘G’day’ and farewelled by a ‘see ya later’, but in Canada this may be swapped for ‘Howdy’, or ‘Tally Ho!’ And ‘eh’ will be added to the end of many sentences by Canadian locals. Despite also being an English speaking nation, there is an underlying slang language which visitors often don’t understand. Translating some of the unfamiliar terms can cause cause difficulty and confusion for travellers.

Continuing on the linguistic theme another thing that may trip up visitors is the French speaking localities of Canada. Venturing across the country, in particular to Quebec, will require some ability in both languages, which may prove concerning for unbeknown Aussies. And with the French speaking areas also comes a reflection of French culture, so similarly this may give  bit of shock to visitors not familiar with croissants and baguettes.

Another shock for Australians is built on the rudimentary assumption that Canada experiences an eternal winter. Australian visitors will often be surprised with warm summer temperatures and the activities that this weather allows for.

Canada as a destination for Australian travellers is obviously not the greatest site at which culture shock is experienced. There are a few little things that may challenge Australians or place in some discomfort, but this is unlikely to to be long term or hindering. Arriving prepared and remaining positive will ensure culture shock can be overcome in Canada and in many other destinations.

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