INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

Canada Day is a pretty big event in this country, so a lot of us got a Canadian culture overload these days. I want to share with you what interesting things I learned during Canada Day and from the pictures I took.

History
First of all, why Canada Day? On July 1, 1867 the Constitution Act officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation with initially four provinces – Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. British Columbia and Vancouver Island joined the Confederation in 1871. Now the country celebrates its birthday on every July 1st!

National Anthem
“O Canada” became national anthem in 1980 and it exists officially in English and French. You will need this one for a hockey game as well!
O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Cultural Diversity
In case you didn’t notice, Canada is pretty international. The Canada Day parade basically consisted of dances and costumes from all over the world. Canada has one of the highest immigration rates and the immigrants are from over 200 countries of origin. Multiculturalism in Canada is even in the law. The “Canadian Multiculturalism Act” was passed in 1988 and aims to preserve and enhance multiculturalism in Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The “Mounties” are Canada’s national and federal police force, and the local police force in some of the less populous provinces. It is unique in the world because it is the national, federal, provincial and municipal police. I’m sure you have seen the famous images of those red uniforms with the black jodhpurs and the distinctive hat as Canadian stereotypes! However, whenever they do not participate in parades, those guys are usually dressed in standard police uniforms.

Canada is a little bit into sports
Wearing a hockey jersey on July 1st is as good as having the Canadian flag. Any kind of team works, whether it’s the national hockey shirt, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs or Montreal Canadiens. Good thing that Canadians can use those expensive shirts all year round. Btw, the next NHL ice hockey season starts on October 11th. Meanwhile, during the summer Canadians are busy watching the Olympics that start on July 27th. There is an official national jersey for that as well! Also, don’t forget the White Caps in Vancouver.

Lumberjacks
If you attended the festivities on Canada Place you might have seen the lumberjack show. A lumberjack is the original Canadian! They are those guys dressed in a long-sleeved plaid flannel shirt – that’s how the world sees the Canadian men. When Europeans discovered the continent and its resources, lumberjacks worked in the logging industry harvesting and transporting trees. A whole tradition was built around this job and lifestyle, lumberjacking even became a competitive sport in the late 1800s. Missed the show? You can see one on top of Grouse Mountain.

Any other Canadian facts that caught you attention on Canada Day? Let us know!

Xenia

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Illuminate Yaletown / Olympic Winter Games Anniversary Events – Review

Last weekend was fully packed with great events! Nooo….not only the phenomenal INTERNeX Karaoke Night on Saturday Night! 😉

On Friday, Vancouver got warmed up for an exciting weekend by Illuminate Yaletown. Taking place on two nights, Hamilton and Mainland Street were illuminated by unique art installations. Building frontages were shining in all colours imaginable, artists performed fanciful shows in front of ice sculptures and so on… I went to this event and although it was raining heavily, I was immediately caught by this mystic atmosphere that the combinations of light, sculptures and animations were creating.

Saturday was fully packed with events all around the 1st Anniversary of the Olympic Winter Games.

And because it is an event that most of us, may it be intern or candidate, will probably not experience a second time, I grabbed my umbrella, took the Skytrain to downtown and was truly surprised about how many people were actually going to the events, although it was such bad weather.

 

A part of Granville Street was cordoned off and artists were performing shows, one could play street hockey, hold an Olympic torch and even meet the athletes! That was really cool! The best moment of the day was probably the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza at 4pm. Luckily, I was on time and got one of the best spots! More and more people pilgrimage to the plaza, a lot of them wearing the famous blue jackets. As we were all waiting, suddenly somebody started to sing the national anthem of Canada and one after another, everybody was joining until the whole place was filled with the sweet sound of “Oh Canada!”. It did not happen only once but 3 or 4 times that the anthem resounded by the Canadians around me. It gave me a really good feeling since among all the locals, I (the German girl from far far away) felt like one of them…

Finally, at 4.30pm, one of the officials entered the Plaza, followed by a big group of former volunteers. He held a short speech and then…. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3…2…1…..BAM! The cauldron got ignited and thousands of people were going crazy! Everybody was cheering, singing, dancing!

It is hard to describe this moment, therefore I filmed it! 😉 Check I out if you missed out on Saturday.

For more pictures visit our Flickr page! 🙂

 

Cheers,

Ziska

 

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200-211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com