The Polite Canadians – Loving It!

Little things that bring big satisfaction in Canada – II

Loving It

This post is part of the Loving It series.
Inspired by uberblogger Zhu’s wonderful series of various knick-knacksy tidbits about the immigrant experience, I’ve decided to take off my cynical mask once in a while to write more about genuinely feel-good lovables being a Canuck. Yes, no attempted tongue-in-cheek, promise! Be kind, please.

Although I’ve seen blatantly racist incidents myself here, a few ignorant idiots will never, ever speak for what I’ve come to cherish about my new beloved home.

The first and foremost must be the manners and politeness of everyone.

I came from a rule-of-the-jungle type third-world country — though I’ve lived and worked in a few first- and second-world countries too before ending up here.

At my birthplace, politeness means cursing someone less loudly and spitting on the ground rather than their face (OK, a little exaggerated, but you catch my drift.)

Let’s see what a wonderful world this could be if all of us were a little more Canadian, so to speak.

Few Random Examples of Canuck Politeness that Make Your Day, Everyday

  • Walking down a narrow side-walk with two heavy grocery bags in your hands? No problem. The approaching pedestrians will not only sidestep for you, they will also smile and give you a nod of approval for your fine selection of purchases. If you think this is poppycock, consider that there are 4-feet high snow banks on either side, and he/she risked ending up face-down splat in snow.
  • Awkwardly hit and bump into someone while picking something up or rushing down a crowded place? They will always say “Oops, sorry!” first even if you’re the clumsy one. Try it!
  • My disdain for TTC aside, even if you’re packed like sardines and cuddling and snuggling between complete strangers on Subway/bus/street-car, making your way out at your stop, people will compete squeezing into each other for you to make your way through — and all you have to do is to say “Excuse me, thanks…”
  • Waiting in a line with a friend and having a conversation and trying to resolve a thorny issue like, say, why Higgs particle is so elusive for the Large Hadron Collider to detect… expect a particle physicist to chime in from behind (really) and offer truly expert advice!
  • Step into an elevator and before you even try, the rider next to the buttons will ask, “which floor?” (after which his two 5-year olds press all floor buttons for everyone to secretly want to kill them — just kidding!)

Of course these are just some of the things that you encounter everyday. If I were to list specific goodnesses, I’ll need much, much more space!

Feel free to add your own politeness anecdotes in the comments!

More from the Loving It series

First Published: October 2nd, 2011


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