How to Spot a Canadian

Tracking down Canadians one toque at a time.

About this Site...

Canadians are a tricky people to distinguish. They are often able to blend into a society and appear to be American, British, French or any other number of nationalities. This site will provide you with some tips and tricks to help you recognize a Canadian no matter where you are.

 

This site is for entertainment purposes only. "How to Spot a Canadian" is filled with humour, satire, hyperbole, parody and sarcasm. All statements here should be taken with a grain of salt or a bottle of maple syrup, whatever the case may be.

They'll Watch Anything Played on Ice

Maybe it's because it's freezing cold for the majority of the year. Maybe it's because they're looking to be different than the United States. Maybe there is something in the beer. It's not known why, but Canadians will watch anything that takes place on ice.

First of all, there's hockey. It's the most obvious example of Canadians being obsessed with an ice-related activity. Hockey to a Canadian is a sacred tradition. It's a religion. It's life. Without hockey there are no Canadians, only Americans that have wandered too far north.

But the Canadian love of ice does not stop there. No, it continues on to figure skating. While less blatant, Canadians treat figure skating with incredibly high esteem as well. The country's citizens were close to declaring war when controversy initially cost a pair of Canadians an Olympic gold medal in pairs figure skating.

But those interests generally make sense. Hockey and figure skating are popular around the world, not just in Canada.

However, there is one ice sport that defines Canada's bizarre obsession: curling.

While the game was not invented in Canada, it is a definite part of Canadian culture.

Though interesting and difficult to play, the sport of curling looks absolutely insane to outsiders.

Teams take turns throwing rocks down a sheet of ice trying to place their rocks closer to a goal than their opponent's. At first it sounds like a completely normal game, right? Wrong. In order to direct the rocks to the goal two team members shuffle slightly in front of the rock, sweeping the ice in front of it with brooms. Yes, brooms.

Household cleaning supplies aside, the game gets weirder.

In order to assist the sweepers in positioning the rock close to the goal, other members of the team scream instructions at them. That isn't an exaggeration. They scream. Loud. What you are left with is one person (having thrown the rock) sprawled on the ice, screaming uncontrollably as two other people awkwardly shuffle along, frantically sweeping a path across the ice. It looks just about as crazy as it sounds.

But Canadians love it.

While curling is played around the world, it has a huge following in Canada. There's just something about brooms and screaming that gets Canadians excited.

When trying to spot a prospective Canadian, mention curling. If the person mumbles something about how their hairstylist doesn't have time to fit them in for a good appointment, carry on with your day. That person isn't from Canada. However, if they immediately start sweeping and/or yelling, you've found yourself a Canadian. Congratulations.

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8 comments:

  1. Zita said...
      This post has been removed by the author.
  2. Zita said...
     

    Hurry hard! And, in my elementary school (because the budget didn't allow for official curling stones) they would fill jam pails with cement, thoughtfully cementing a handle to the top. Then they would toss us outside (where the janitor had watered down the playing field the night before) to learn how to play. Yep, they started us young :-)

  3. HowToSpotACanadian.ca said...
     

    That sounds awesome. So Canadian.

  4. Venom said...
     

    I've been known to scream Hurry, HARD!! a time or two...

    Dont' forget ringette.

  5. Venom said...
     

    Oooh, & ice fishing!! especially the derbys, those should be televised.

    Ice racing down the Rideau (horses) and any frozen lake (skidoos)

  6. HowToSpotACanadian.ca said...
     

    I was planning on adding ice fishing to this post, but I completely forgot.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Aleh said...
     

    I am also suggesting Red Bull Crushed Ice, the super amazing, unforgettable, never duplicated (for good reason) hill of ice that has been manufactured in Montreal since 2000.

    It is truly Canadian because it combines everything you have mentioned, hockey, figure skating and curling. I’m sure you are familiar with this, so I will only remind you of the agility, power, grace and balance required by these herculean athletes who hurl their bodies down the track as if they themselves are curling stones with picked skates and body pads.

    Love for this event is intense, coming from athletes and spectators worldwide. Their dedication can be seen when witnessing annual events: a satisfying combination of violence, ice, beer, screaming and competition, on part of both groups is demonstrated. The mere mentioning of “Red Bull” or “Crushed Ice” should make any Canadian break out two full layers of winter clothes, a two-four, foam fingers and 3 friends with the same dedication and equipment.

  8. Maureen said...
     

    Oh yeah... I have awards for curling a long time ago... and went to school with Laliberte twins.

    I can't frickin' believe K Mart lost like that... crap.

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