Yesterday, Jake and I attended Culture Training. We spent 8 hours in a small conference room with a Cultural Consultant learning all about Canada.
Let's start by saying, damn it's a really big country!! Sadly, many, many American's know very little about our neighbor to the North. We're usually only concerned with not letting in our neighbor to the South and fighting other people super far away. Anyway, I want to briefly go over the things I learned! And I promise it won't be like school!
Starting off the day, we talked a lot about ourselves. How prone we are to change, how we deal with differences, if we're flexible in situations and if we're more likely to judge people. It was interesting to see where I scored lower and Jake scored higher. It really made me realize that we are a great match. Where he scored lower, I was usually higher and vice versa. Good matching I think!
We spent a long time talking about Cultural Dimensions as well. Universalism, collectivism, individualism, particularism. Lots of isms. I really enjoyed this section. I felt like I was back in school and being able to draw upon the things I remember from school def made me feel better about my education.
After lunch, we moved onto Canada itself. Now, I can see why American's don't learn about Canadian history in school. It's rather...slow? I don't want to say boring because war and death and revolution and anger shouldn't be classified as interesting, but you know what I mean. Canadian history is kind of cool, however. Their motto "Peace, Order and Good Governance" makes way more sense now. Plus, it actually sounds more peaceful then the American motto to be honest.
The biggest thing I took away from the training was this: America was founded on revolution. Underneath all our history and woven throughout it is negativity. Our country was founded upon not liking where we came from and choosing to start over. But with that came forcefulness, violence, greed, power, death, destruction. Canadians seem to have been peaceful from the beginning. While there was some fighting and war over the years, it's nothing like America. Our trainer said something interesting: American's went west to expand, to claim more land, to take over. Canadian's didn't expand. They had established an east and a west coast then brought them together. Canada is more of a connected country then America it.
And I couldn't agree more.
We ended the session talking about Canadian culture, what they find rude vs. what we find rude and so on. Overall, I'm glad I went with Jake yesterday. I didn't learn a great deal about the culture that I didn't already know, but learning Canada's history was interesting and now I have a lot of great reading material!!
Do you know any strange facts about Canada?!