Society & everyday life in Canada
Canada is a country without a state region. Three quarters of the population are of the Christian faith, the remainder of the population are of the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist faith. Up to 16% do not belong to any religion.
Canada is officially a constitutional monarchy as it belongs to the Commonwealth of Nations with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. But Canada is also a representative parliamentary democracy organized as a large federal state. The constitution consists of written legal sources and unwritten customary law.
National language and communication
There are two official languages: English and French. Bilingualism is officially enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Official Language Act and the Official Language Regulations. All citizens can avail of federal services of any kind in English or French. In all provinces, students are guaranteed classes in their mother tongue and in their own schools.
Canadians are known to be very friendly and polite. Use the words “please” and “thank you” as often as possible. The greeting is often “Hi, how are you?” addressed. You don’t have to answer honestly, a casual “I’m fine, thanks. And you?” is completely sufficient.
In the east of the country, the main traffic route runs along the Saint Lawrence River through Ontario and Québec and connects the cities of Toronto, Montreal, Québec and Ottawa. The entire north is hardly developed because it is not needed. In the west, the major cities near the American border are connected by transportation systems. The Canadian government wanted to connect the widely separated provinces with each other, which was done with the help of three transcontinental railroad lines and several branch lines. Domestic flights, offered by 75 different airlines, are suitable for longer distances.
Culture & History of Canada
The first inhabitants of Canada were the Indians , who lived as early as 12,000 BC. Settled the land. Then came about 5000 BC. The Inuit . The Vikings were the first Europeans to live around 1000 BC. Lived on Newfoundland. The French Jacques Cartier first raised areas in Canada as French land holdings in 1534. At the beginning of the 16th century, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec. In the years that followed, more and more French people moved to Canada. British settlers also came to the country in 1670.
After decades of peacefulness, a seven-year war between the English and the French finally began in 1745. Finally England won. In 1763 the Peace of Paris was concluded, decided and France had to cede its ownership claims to Great Britain. After the US War of Independence (1775-1783) Canada experienced the first wave of immigration from British loyalists . The British-American War followed from 1812 to 1814, which ended with no results and was passed with the Peace of Ghent .
In 1867 the Canadian Confederation took place and Canada was declared a federal state by Great Britain, which was now independent from Great Britain. By 1912 (with the exception of Newfoundland in 1949) all provinces had joined the confederation. Canada voluntarily became a member of the Commonwealth in 1931 .
After the Second World War, Canada experienced a large wave of immigration from Europe, India, the Far East, Arabia and the Caribbean. An economic upswing and a certain prosperity followed. Land contracts were signed with the indigenous people who got back parts of land in the north. There was also tension between English-speaking Canada and the French province of Québec, which demanded more independence. However, this was rejected by a narrow majority.
The Monday before or on May 24th is Victoria Day (Fête de la Rein) , the celebration of the birthday of the reigning British monarch.
On July 1 is Canada Day (Fête du Canada) celebrated and recalls the formation of Canada as the state of the British Commonwealth by the British North America Act on July 1, 1867.
The first Monday in August is Civic Holiday (Premier lundi d’août ), the holiday has different meanings and sometimes names depending on the province. The first Monday in September marks Labor Day (Fête du travail).
The day is a national holiday and is celebrated in memory of the labor movement.
On the second Monday in October is Thanksgiving (Action de grâce) celebrated. On this day the Canadians, just like the USA, celebrate how the Pilgrim Fathers landed in Plymouth Rock and were welcomed there by the Wampanoag Indians and celebrated a festival together. The history is not documented, but is seen by many as the origin.
On November 11th, Armistice Day in World War I, Canadians celebrate Remembrance Day (Jour du Souvenir) . It is supposed to remind of the war veterans.
A large selection of culinary delights awaits you in Canada! The Canadians adhere to the natural conditions when producing food. On the Atlantic coast mainly lobster (and lobster-like) is caught, while on the west coast wild salmon was in the foreground, but this was almost completely displaced by salmon farms.
Cultural differences also influence Canadian cuisine. In Québec, the French influence cannot be overlooked. In the Prairie Provinces, however, the influence of the Midwest of the USA is noticeable, and in the Far West, the British influence in particular.
There are also wine-growing regions in Canada, for example on the Niagara Peninsula and in the Okanagan region, as well as in the southeast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Wine growing has a tradition that goes back over 200 years. In 1974 new viticulture licenses were issued and the viticulture associations focused on higher quality, which led to an upswing. Canadian wines account for roughly half of the country’s total consumption.