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10 Canadian Etiquette Filipinos should adopt


There isn’t much to discuss when it comes to the difference between a Canadian and a Filipino especially when it comes to manners and decorum. Both usually exude a very courteous and mannerly behaviour when dealing with peers or other people and both are usually recognized for being one of the “polite-est” people on the planet. However, there’s still some distinction between the two and we have seen a bunch of articles that talked about “Filipino manners Canadians should learn”. Well now, we’re going to flip the coin and see what etiquette can we Filipinos pick up from our Canadian friends.

1. When going to a party, it is kind of like one of the unspoken social etiquettes to help in cleaning up the place. Yes, Filipinos sometimes offer to help with the clean up after a party but we mostly do so when the setting is in a house. Oftentimes, we just leave and say “paalam” whenever it is time for us to go, but Canadians see to it that they will help in the clean up so everyone can go home as soon as possible and with less stress. Something that we can definitely take from them. 🙂

2. If you plan on visiting a friend or just hanging out at someone’s house, be sure to call or message them first before showing up at their doorstep (yes, even if it’s your bestfriend). For us Filipinos, it is common to just visit a friend’s house without any notifications and more often than not, you will be received in the home and be treated hospitably. However for Canadians, this can be extremely annoying especially for the person who has to open the door. Canadians respect each other’s privacy so a simple text or call for their approval would help them prepare having full knowledge of your arrival.

3. Going back to the topic of privacy, Canadians highly value each and every person’s privacy or personal space. While most of us Filipinos are touchy and are always up for high-fives, hugs, and many other physical contact because of our friendliness, our Canadian friends might find these friendly gestures uncomfortable. It is better for you to let them perform the gesture first before reciprocating it so you’ll always be safe not to offend anyone.
4.  It is a common courtesy for Canadians to hold the door open for the next person who will enter after them. This comes from their attitude of always wanting to assist or help out anyone in need and it’s not just in opening doors but in all aspects of life. Whenever they see anyone struggling they would almost always say “is everything okay?” or “can I help you with something?” even though the person didn’t ask for any help. It is always a good habit to recognize someone’s need even though they might be hesitant to ask for help about it.

5.  While Filipinos use the word “Kamusta?” as their greeter, Canadians use phrases such as “How are you?”, “How do you do?”, or “How’s it going?” as their greeters. It usually sounds more personal but it definitely feels like they are genuinely concerned about your well-being especially when it really means is “how’s life been lately?”. In addition, they always say “Have a nice day” or “See you around” as parting phrases just to give you a bit of positivity before leave.
6. When eating out at fast food restaurants or food courts, it is customary for us Filipinos to just leave and actually leave our mess behind for the crew or cleaner to clean up. Well in Canada, you are expected to exhibit demeanour by cleaning up after yourself. Equality is highly revered in Canada therefore, no one is above anyone so never leave your mess behind because you think you’re too good to clean up.

7.  Canadians particularly hate and regard it as extremely rude and inappropriate when Filipinos speak in vernacular or our mother tongue which is Tagalog. This is mainly because they do not understand our language. We Filipinos have this bad habit of switching to Tagalog whenever we talk about people who doesn’t understand it and this is what Canadians does not like. It ticks them off whenever this happens because they don’t know if they are being the topic of the discussion or not. Nobody wants to be the topic of “chismis” am I right?

8.  Smoking in Canada is basically restricted everywhere unless it has a sign that says that it is a designated smoking area. Again, going back to the privacy attitude of Canadians, not everyone is a smoker and not everyone can handle secondhand smoke either. Some might have instant allergic reactions after inhaling secondhand smoke and some might be pregnant or children and some might be traumatized by smoke so to be safe, only smoke in smoking areas away from the general public. Of course, every Canadian province has their own set rules with regards to smoking but a rule of thumb is never smoke in public areas.

9.  Never ask anyone or at least ask them first it is okay to ask how much an individual earns. This is not just a Canadian thing, even Americans and other races know this virtue of not openly sharing their salary amount to people (even friends) because it is private. Back in the Philippines, it was nothing for us if we share this kind of information to our peers because we grew up thinking that it’s not a big deal but for Canadians, think first before asking.

10.  For us Filipinos, having tissues at home or even having the ability to shell out extra money to buy disposable tissues is a luxury. We would often resort to using washable cloths or even just water for our cleaning needs but Canadians view these things unsanitary and need something that is quickly dispensable with minimal risk of bacteria multiplication. So, having toilet paper, table napkins, paper towels, facial tissues are a necessity for them.
How about you? Do you have anything to add that we missed out? Put it on the comments section below!


About Jonats

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