Yes Canada has Thanksgiving!

This week was American Thanksgiving… and I have a bone to pick with expats here! Sorry lame joke…

There is a large American community living in Shanghai and they celebrate their Thanksgiving with traditional meals and friends and family like they would at home. What I found is how they are catered to… meanwhile Canadian Thanksgiving is ignored. SO many people are shocked we have one and then surprised it is not the same as they U.S. Thanksgiving.

This week at school we had a bake sale, selling pumpkin tarts, to raise money for charity. The cafeteria made turkey dinner and many restaurants do something as well. Only 1 restaurant, owned by a Canadian does something for Canadian Thanksgiving.

What bothers me is how we are just lumped into one category and Canadians are seen as Americans. Outwardly we look like Americans, have similar geography and share many items of popular culture. What makes us different though? Why are we so offended when we are referred to as American?

Is it enough to claim maple syrup and a colder climate is what makes us different? Is it our way of saying eh? Or maybe it is having 2 official languages… Why are we always overshadowed by our neighbours to the south and have less of an identity that speaks to the world? Why do we just let it happen? What makes us Canadian? What do you think?

Stay tuned for more…

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7 thoughts on “Yes Canada has Thanksgiving!

  1. Freda Goulet

    Very good question. I think the mass media is to blame. Everything “American” is broadcast twenty four seven and we Canadians become overshadowed by that. American media do not air anything that happens north of the 49th parallel unless it is earth shattering, not even our weather. We are much smaller in population, even though much larger in area, so that is another reason that Americans are better known. Our original “british ” roots tend to make us much more conservative so we are not “heard” as well as our American neighbors tend to be heard.
    I’m proud to be Canadian…and I would tell everyone I meet!

    • Many people, myself included, wear those little Canadian flags and sew a flag onto a backpack when travelling. In my class I have a large flag hanging up as well as a pin on my name card badge… that way I am not mistaken for American. You are right we are too conservative and polite to be heard sometimes; we worry about offending others, so maybe we keep quiet too much?

  2. Leslie

    I play an online game and a lot of the people I play it with are from the States. It amazed me that so many of them were not only clueless as to when our Thanksgiving was but they also were amazed that we had the same traditional food!!
    What I think “makes” a Canadian? Maybe it is the quiet pride in our country. The fact that we don’t need to be so bold with our patriotism? We believe in “we” before “me”. I really like ‘We Are More’ by Shane Koyczan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQbQGn_rqTw

  3. Freda Goulet

    Leslie, We spend time in Texas, and we are asked all the time about the kind of food we eat in Canada! They do not travel outside Texas, most of the people, and they aren’t taught about our history or customs. The only way they learn anything “Canadian” is if they meet a Canadian in Texas. If our southern neighbors know so little about us, I can understand why people in China and other distant countries know so little as well.

    • I think the Chinese probably know more about us, or at least Geography wise, than the Americans! I think the US focus on their own geography, history and traditions and less on the world. Other countries also teach world geography and history to some extent! Now this is a generalization and I am sure in every country there are extremes in either direction.

  4. Freda Goulet

    I think you are right, Diana. I think to a large extent Americans still believe in “isolationism” that led them to not support the allies in the second world war until Pearl Harbor was bombed.
    Happy December 1st…are you coming home?

    • Yes we will be home for Christmas. I decorated the classroom today while the children were at art. They were so excited.

      Doesn’t feel like Christmas, it has been really warm for the last week -seems like Sept., or Indian Summer not Nov. 30th!!! Temps were 20-25*C. I love the warmer weather. The cold and damp here feel colder than the minus teens back home.

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