Canadians are known around the world for their politeness. As a newcomer in Canada, I have been exposed to this Canadian trait and I’ve found it to be welcoming. Being in Canada means people need to learn the customs and manners that are acceptable in this country. I find this is a very important aspect that helps newcomers integrate into Canadian society more easily. It helps in every aspect of your life: from simply going out to buy groceries to feeling comfortable at work around your colleagues.
I have to admit that there are certain behaviours which are considered normal in Mexico but in Canada they would be less than polite. That’s why I made it a point to learn manners that would help me better socialize with my Canadian peers.
Among the Mexican behaviours that wouldn’t be well-liked in Canada are: talking about your salary (we don’t think that’s a big deal), kissing someone’s cheek as you’re introduced to that person (weird, I know, but accepted), not saying “sorry” or “excuse me” when you mistakenly walk into someone on the street, among others.
I have encountered several examples of newcomers not following some important gestures of politeness. Among the behaviours that I have commonly found are not saying “thank you” when someone opens a door for you, groups of people walking together and taking up the whole sidewalk and cutting in line. I understand that it takes time and exposure to learn Canadian customs and manners. I encourage all newcomers to make an extra effort to be polite as per Canadian standards. It will make a big difference in your life. It makes it easier for everyone to live together in this great multicultural country.
If you are a newcomer, what have been some of the changes you‘ve had to make in terms of manners in your new country?
If you are Canadian, what are some suggestions you would make to newcomers so they can be exposed to and adopt Canadian manners faster?
All comments are welcome and appreciated!