Canadians take their national birthday very seriously, and being clocked as a foreigner can be dangerous. If you happen to be an expat living in Canada, follow these simple steps to ensure you celebrate your Canada Day properly in order to avoid the mild-mannered scorn of Canucks.
- Order poutine: Ensure your poutine has been made with cheese curds. If it’s made with shredded cheese, send it back. Ensure your poutine’s gravy is hot enough to melt the cheese curds, if it’s not, send it back. Ensure your poutine is made with proper thick chip fries and not slim snaky fast food tries, if it isn’t, send it back. Make it clear you’re disappointed with the establishment, but remember to say “please” and “thank you.” Bonus points if you can get the waiter to make a “sorry mom” face. Acceptable variants from standard poutine include vegetarian gravy or a combination with a cultural dish (i.e. butter chicken poutine)–we are multicultural after all.
- Wear plaid: You don’t want to be mistaken for an American.
- Drink beer: Literally anything but American beer.
Common punishments for violating these screeds include: 1) Disappointed head-shaking; 2) Well-intended lectures; 3) Strongly worded letters; and 4) Issuing apologies to other Canadians on your behalf in order to shame you.
Additional regional customs might modify expectations for Canada Day:
- Speak French. Anglophones are not well received in certain parts of the country.
- Speak English. Francophones are not well received in certain parts of the country.
- Mock America.
- Praise the Queen.
- Scorn the Queen.
- Mistake Aussies for Brits and vice versa.
- Mistake Parisians for Quebecois and vice versa.
All in all, issue apologies often and preemptively, and you’ll likely be accepted as a Canuck.