Happy Canada Day! I have always been a proud Canuck, but I think living abroad this past year made me even more patriotic (although I really think this guy is ruining our international rep…). Part of my job while teaching in Spain was actually to be a “cultural ambassador” and I happily obliged ( and fulfilled the stereotype of traveling around with my flag on my knapsack).In general, the Spaniards (and pretty much everyone else) that I met while living abroad did not know much about the true north strong and free, but that didn’t surprise me; I think we Canadians are used to people not knowing about us, eh? But the stereotypes! Despite any lack of familiarity with the country, the stereotypes were still abundant (apparently Spaniards think we are always on horses?). I wasn’t bothered by it at all — I found it funny, and was happy to share some Canadian tidbits (timbits?). So, with us celebrating Canada’s 146th birthday, I thought it might be fun to share the most frequently asked questions I heard this year…1. “Do You Watch How I Met Your Mother?”It seems that the most well known Canadian in Spain is fictional: Robin Scherbatsky. When I told people I was Canadian, I think 90% of Spaniards between the age of 20 and 30 asked me if I watched the show and/or told me I reminded them of the Canadian character Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders? I wish!). So, thank you HIMYM for the quality Canadian jokes.2. “Is It Always Cold In Canada?”Yes, and we live in igloos under our bearskins. (I answered much more politely, of course, and explained how much I loved our four seasons.)
3. How Do You Eat Maple Syrup? On everythiiiiing! To be fair, I totally spread the Canadian goodness by giving maple syrup as gifts, and making maple desserts for colleagues, students and friends…but I think that’s a good stereotype. And delicious.
In fact, you could drizzle maple syrup on top of this deliciously easy and patriotically coloured dessert! (Good segue, eh?)Have you encountered any stereotypes that have made you laugh out loud? It’s good to be in the motherland in time to celebrate — Happy Canada Day!!