10 Practices to Master to Fit In Canada
When you decide to move to another country, you have probably wondered how you can fit in when you arrive. Back in the Philippines, we are used to certain practices and behaviours that we are not actually aware that is specific to our home country. There is a lot of similarities and differences between the Philippines and Canada but in order to fit in, you must really have the proper knowledge and awareness of what the Canadian culture is like.
Canada is known as one of the most friendliest and most polite country in the world. It is also known to be one of the culturally diverse country, making it more open to different practices and more accepting of differences. However, in order to maintain the certain Canadian qualities in the country, everyone has to be able to fit in the social norm. Here are 10 practices you need to master when you move to Canada:
1. Speak English.
Canada is a bilingual country, having English and French as its official languages. If you cannot speak French, make sure you speak in English. It is common courtesy in work places or public places that you speak the language that most people understand. When you are with other people, even if there is just one Canadian present in the room, it is a must that you speak in English. It is rude to speak in Filipino when there are other people around who cannot understand what you are talking about.
2. Small Talk.
Hi or Hello just won’t do when you’re in Canada. Expect to be always asked with “How’re you?” or “How’s are you doing?” This is basically the same as “Kamusta?” which you can reply to with “Fine” or “Could’ve been better.” Don’t forget to ask the question back and you can then engage into a short conversation.
3. Thank you and Sorry.
Canadians are polite people. They would always say “Thanks”, “You’re welcome” or “Sorry” when appropriate. As someone from s different country, this might need some getting used to but you could be considered rude if you don’t observe this practice.
4. Personal space is bigger.
Filipinos are “touchy” people. You might not be aware of it but, in the Philippines, there is a smaller area that is considered as personal space compared to Canada. The best example of this would be noticeable in the public transportation back home. When it might be fine for Filipinos to touch/rub against each other, it is not the case with Canadians. So, keep your distance and observe less touching.
5. First Come, First Serve.
Canadians are very respectful when it comes to lines even if there are no lines. When you arrive at a store or at a bus stop, be considerate of other who got there first. Whoever got there first reserves the right to be served first.
6. Use phone appropriately.
The ubiquity of cellular phones are present today but please observe proper etiquette when using your phones. First of all, it is considered rude when you use your phone in theaters, school and other public places where it can interrupt a certain social happening. You are expected to step out or excuse yourself if you want to use your phone in Canada. Another noteworthy practice is not using your phone when you are driving. It is against the law to even hold a phone or handheld device while driving.
7. Hold the door.
Canadians are very considerate of others. When you go inside of a building or room, be aware if there are people behind you and try to hold the door for them. They will do the same for you to which you will always have to say “Thank you.”
8. Clean As You Go.
It is not a common practice in the Philippines to clean up after ourselves when we eat out. In Canada, you should always make sure that you clean up your trash and return everything that you’ve used in the proper bins.
9. Smoking is restricted.
Unlike in the Philippines, workplaces and all public spaces in Canada are considered Smoke-free places. There are designated smoking areas where you can smoke. If you are a smoker, you better find these smoking areas to avoid fines.
10. Tissue is a staple.
Here in Canada, you can find tissue paper, kitchen towel or napkin in all households. If back in the Philippines you won’t normally stock up on these, you have to start getting used to having these in your homes. These normally come in big packs in the groceries so you’ll most probably have more than enough.