Do Canadians care if they are called Americans?
It’s easy to understand why Americans and Canadians can be confused with each other. For one thing, both countries are melting pots for many cultures. There’s no disconcerting features that makes it visibly clear that a person is an American or a Canadian.
Newz4u.net asked several Canadians if they would be insulted if they were called American and their answers were varied. One thing though that rang true was that Canadians are very proud of their country, regardless of how they feel about the American culture.
The following is a sampling of the responses we received:
Bryen Dunn, of Toronto, travels frequently and is often asked what part of America he is from. He tells people he’s from Canada.
“It takes a lot to insult me and simply being thought of as American would not do it. Besides I like Americans and always tell people that…it’s very simple to judge a person on an overall outlook of a country,” Dunn added with his own brand of humour, “That would make Canadians all bacon eating, moose riding, pot smoking homosexuals right?”
Danielle Haury is a proud military wife from Toronto. She said that she would not be insulted if someone called her an American. When it comes to traveling though Haury finds that there is a difference. “I don’t really care, (about being called American) unless I’m traveling in Europe. When I went I was assumed American. When I told them I was Canadian I got much better service!”
Like Haury, Donna Hartling MacDonald is a Canadian military wife. She also does not feel insulted if thought to be American. “We are after all from North America. But I am proud to be Canadian and would tell them I am from North America and I am Canadian.”
Recent York University graduate Marie-Michelle Gougeon agrees with Haury about traveling in Europe. “If I went to say Europe and they called me American? I’d probably correct them and tell them the difference but not insulted. If some random person called me American I’d probably have a list of reasons why I’m proud to be Canadian and not American,” Gougeon added, “Its not the initial insulting, it’s just being aware that there is a huge difference.”
C-Cose Shepherd Daley of N.B. took time to answer, “Well that’s a doozie. I’d like to be able to say that I wouldn’t be, but that would be dishonest.
In ~today’s~ environment, with the plethora of ignorance, self-centered actions, and ~general~ disregard for “alternate” lives, I’d be quite upset were I called “American”. I have fond memories of traveling through the lower 48–all but the extreme South–when I was a child on many family vacations; I also have some friends from the U.S.. But, I can’t ignore the tripe that crosses our physical and media borders on a daily basis. “American” culture–the values, opinions, choices, and voices–seems to have been reduced to the lowest common denominator over the past 2 decades. Although it’s just one example, one only has to look at American TV programming to see how banal and sophomoric their tastes have become. Don’t even get me started on Foreign Policy (stabbing Peter to pay Paul), the “2nd Amendment” misinterpretations, or the litany of abuses of power that are ignored south of the 49th.”
Robert Cairns of Toronto said that he does feel insulted if he is called American because he is a proud Canadian.
Rui Umezawa doesn’t recall ever having been called American but said that he would not be offended by “any understandable mistake.”
Wendy Drummond, a constable for the Toronto Police, also has never been called an American. She like Umezawa would not feel offended but would “definitely correct them.”
Jeff Wyonch of Toronto said he would be offended if thought an American. “I’m probably more patriotic about being Canadian than the average Canadian, though, so I wouldn’t consider my opinion representative. Also, I worked 7 years in retail, having to deal with American cross-border shoppers, who don’t represent the best America has to offer (quite dramatically the opposite).
Having been to the US only a half-dozen times in my life (briefly each time), I haven’t encountered many folk who are deeply insulting. When I have, it wasn’t in regards to their being American.
In general, though, our countries are more alike than dissimilar, and that may be the thing I find offensive. Canada may not be better, but until the 20th century, it was distinct in it’s approach to problems. That is less and less the case.”
Cherie Lunau Jokisch, owner of Beadle in Toronto, said, “Depends in what context. I would for sure make sure it was corrected. I’m a proud Canadian my family has been in the country since the early 1700′s. I think in many ways we are a like but also very different.” Remembering childhood trips she added when asked if she had ever been called an American personally, “I think when I was younger it might have been implied once when I was traveling with my Grandparents. But even though I was young I did say I was from Canada. Might have been 16. I think I was more confused by the fact that I thought it should have somehow been obvious by just looking at me I was Canadian. Lol! But again I was just a kid.”
How do you feel? Do you feel slighted if someone calls you an American? Do you think that there’s a big cultural difference between the two nations? Let us know in the comments section!