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Are Canadians REALLY That Polite?

Obviously this is going to be a very subjective post since it really in all honesty is where you go in Canada. Just like any other country in the world there are usually nicer people in different places than others. I, someone who grew up on the East Coast found that people are incredibly nice compared to say people in Quebec. However that could be me being bias because I really did not enjoy myself there.

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Around the world people are always talking about how polite Canadians are, eh? Well you may be in luck, a lot of us are just that polite. I am talking about the people who would hold the door open for a line of people, or maybe they are someone who opens the door prematurely and you are still half way across the parking lot. My uncle was visiting for the first time in over 10 years a little while ago, He lives in Quebec. Even he stated he needed to go back to Quebec because the people here were too nice! Which I had to laugh because that is something that I do love about Nova Scotia is how nice and polite the majority of people are.

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I say this with love because there are many many places around the country where there are people who are not so nice or have some sort of hate on for the world and that is totally okay for them. Even places around Nova Scotia have some haters so to speak.

Some examples I would like to mention that you rarely see around the globe (And if you are from outside of Canada and have seen or heard of them PLEASE comment and let me know!) are like this. And I mean that seriously, some things happen here that I always wonder if they actually happen anywhere else in the world or if it just happens here!

Sometimes when you are paying for Tim Hortons, people depending on where normally smaller towns will have a pay it forward line up. This is where someone in the beginning has just paid for their order and they offer to pay for the one behind. Does not matter the price or does not matter how many they just offer to pay. To keep it going the next person would do the same until it finally stops and you can see how far it goes. Another thing I have seen as well is people who have maybe 50 dollars and they will give it all to the cashier and say to pay for as many people behind them as possible til it runs out.

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Another instance I found fascinating and did not find it really that interesting until i had moved to Quebec and came back to Nova Scotia was how talkative people are. When we had moved back I was nearly half way through a pregnancy. Any where I had gone in Quebec people barely talked with anyone outside of who they were with which is very strange. Having moved back the first place I went was a doctor’s office for the walk in clinic to get the proper paperwork to be able to have a OBGYN follow me for my pregnancy. Just waiting to see this doctor there were a few people that I had struck up a conversation with. This also falls into the categories of people who pump gas and talk across the pumps to one another. My dad was notorious for doing this when we were younger and nearly every time we would ask who it was he would say he didn’t know. Even something as small as waiting for the same bus with someone and talking about the weather is something that happens quite frequently here I would thing too!

As someone like me who is in fact chatty when it comes to people I was super relieved to be back in a place where that type of communication actually happened. I don’t remember a time when I was in another province where someone would actually keep a conversation going. Sometimes you can try to get one started or making small talk in a grocery store line up however it was quickly met with a word or two and a short answer and almost a snub where they obviously did not want to keep on conversing!

Like I mentioned before, I think a big issue is where you may have traveled in Canada to see who is the friendliest. I think we also get the stereotype depending on where we travel in the world. A big part of this I think is how our country as a whole handles world matters. Not that we really get our nose into anything but a lot of the times we will go towards these situations just to have our flag seen but we aren’t there to get involved so to speak. We just want to kind of be a buffer.

So really, Are we that polite? Well on the East Coast I would say that the majority of us are. Also small towns may have really nice folks there too however you may get the flip side and find some not so nice folks there too. Quebec I find folks to not really be super nice and New Brunswick they are pretty nice if they are English speaking and if they are French well, That may be a different story! I have heard that some spots on the West Coast may not be as friendly though.

I would like to point out that just because people are polite or kind does not mean they will be that way if you make them mad either. Don’t mistake politeness for being a push over either. A lot of people are in fact polite but they will snap back if you want to push them to the point of no return (okay maybe not that far but you get it)!