Are Canadians too polite?
According to a recent Huffington Post article, a study performed by two McMaster University PhD researchers has concluded (based on a MASSIVE twitter post analysis) that Canadians are, in FACT, more polite than…well, it doesn’t matter who; I don’t want to offend anyone. The point is, what we all have always known to be true, is. The article concludes by announcing that the stereotype is not a myth; Canadians are overly polite.For years Canadians have been the focal point of endless jokes about (aboot) our apologetic nature. Who knew it was a fact? Inbred, genetic, ancestral, historical, hereditary, abiogenetic, xenogeneticstar…..MY GOD! We are engineered that way.
There are plenty of theories as to why, take your pick. I personally (insert your theory here) think we are just well adjusted. We are not compelled to rank ourselves on an international meter. To apologize, for us, is an act of warmth, not remorse. There is no shame or pain to it. In a word, we are secure.
The question now is, does it make us ill-equipped to adequately deal with other cultures and nationalities? As a nation of unassuming, contrite fence sitters, are we able to travel? To immigrate? Are we even able to effectively interact with strangers in strange lands??
All joking aside, it took me a long time to grasp the concept here in India. It is survival of the fittest. If you don’t force your way to the counter and wave money at the attendant, you are not getting your chai and samosas brother. That’s a fact! You will starve to death and no one will care. They will step right over your withering carcass and keep on screaming for their order. You want on (or off) that elevator before the door closes? Elbows up, me ole chum and start doing the Dave Semenko! (That’s a hockey reference for those of you who don’t know. If you’re curious, just google Wayne Gretzky’s Personal Goon…nuff said). Queue up? Single file? Non-existent here, a silly concept introduced by the British and promptly discarded. Worm, wiggle, push, shove and otherwise maneuver yourself to the front of/ entrance to (whatever). Don’t worry about being offensive; trust me NO one will notice.
Admittedly, for the first year…or two, I just thought Indians were rude. But is that the case? The more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe I am just not prepared for life in a country with a population of over a billion, crammed into a land mass area of 3.287 million km², where Canada is 9.985 million km² with a population a hair over 36 million….cozy eh? The mentality in countries such as India, China etc. is markedly different than that of Canadians or Australians. We have space, time; Indians do not. From birth they are forced to compete, taught to get while the getting is good, make hay while the sun shines. If you don’t, there may be none left. That’s one popular and abundant theory on the good old inter of net.
Anyway, this isn’t a social commentary, it’s just an observation. I am not declaring that one method of getting on a metro is correct and one is…well, chaos…that’s not my place (he apologizes). In all honesty, I don’t mind the jokes, I don’t begrudge the stereotypes, I love the fact I am not aggressive, nor is my country, or my countrymen (unless you wanna play hockey. Hockey is different; we’ll kick your skinny ass up and down the ice……sorry). I wouldn’t change the persona, alter the personality or tinker with the stigma of Canada one iota. I suppose after I read the article I was quite simply….relieved. Relieved that now, armed with this new scientific proof, I no longer have to be sorry for apologizing! No longer need to feel remorse for being compunctious! I AM CANADIAN (sorry about being awesome) and there ain’t a god damn (oh…I mean gosh darn) thing I can do aboot it!