October 29, 2005

I saw this list of "what to know when meeting Canadians" on the internet from an international relations textbook, and thought it was interesting. Especially the first one, which I find to be very true.

- If you are knocked by, or knocked into someone, it is customary to apologize regardless of who is to blame for the contact.

- Anglophone Canadians often begin informal meetings by talking about inoffensive topics, such as the weather or transportation.

- Be punctual for meetings and appointments, as promptness is valued. In French areas, time is more relaxed. However, you will be expected to arrive at the appointed time, even if the French attending the meeting don't.

- If you are from the U. S., don't say, "we Americans", inferring you are including your Canadian hosts or guests in your reference. Canada is a distinct country with its own wonderful history and culture.

- Canadians who are primarily English-speaking are commonly referred to as "Anglophones." Since many English-speaking Canadians are not of British descent, reserve the term "British Canadian" for immigrants to Canada from the U.K. Or, omit the qualifier unless it is relevant.

- Tolerance, calmness, and reasonableness are behaviours valued by many Canadians. Becoming forceful or outwardly frustrated will not help close a deal.

- If your natural tendency is large sweeping arm gestures, restrain yourself when meeting and talking with Canadians.

- Canadians are a private people. Invitations to private homes are rare. Occasionally, in the western provinces, you may be invited to someone's home. If you are invited, you may take candy, flowers, or liquor to the host or hostess.

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