Unwritten rules for Canada Day

respect the queue

mercator_projection
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I was astonished. During that Team JEOPARDY! tournament, there was a question in the Dates category. “The Dominion of Canada was proclaimed on this date in 1867.”

The players at the time were Julia Collins, who had won 20 regular games; Austin Rogers, 12 regular games; and Ken Jennings, a record 74 regular games. None of them rang in, and Canadian-born Alex Trebek appeared genuinely disappointed.

But I knew. Heck, I’ve known since at least 1967, when EXPO ’67 took place.

Sometimes, Quora is useful. I have pilfered some unwritten rules in Canada. They are fairly consistent among the over 40 contributors.

Say “I’m sorry” for everything, even when the other person is wrong. Hold the door for others.

Don’t make ostentatious displays of wealth, or brag about your material success.

Never raise your voice in public. You will scare the natives.

Don’t litter. Respect the environment, National and Provincial Parks.

Take off your hat and shoes when entering the home.

Never refer to people by their physical ethnic group or by skin color. Do not make nasty or negative comments about immigrants or refugees. Respect the diversity of ALL cultures, and their relationship to Canadian culture as a whole.

Don’t talk about religion or politics unless it’s brought up in a meaningful way. Separate religion and politics altogether.

Feel free to gripe about the weather.

Queuing up is mandatory. Jumping the queue will always be met with a dirty look, snide comments, or, on occasion, worse.

The left lane is the passing lane on the highway.

Feign an enjoyment of hockey.

Americans on Quora have heard that the wait time for Canadian medical care is excessive. To a person, the feeling is exactly the opposite.

As one fellow put it, “Canadian healthcare is so much better than US healthcare it’s like comparing apples to a moldy pile of compost with something fuzzy and odoriferous growing on it.”

Happy Canada Day!