Friday, August 12, 2016

30 Things I Love About Canada #27: The map.

I bet a lot of Americans wouldn't be able to identify this country out of context.

By sheer land mass it's the 2nd largest country in the world (after Russia). Give up? It's Canada!

Growing up, this is the map I studied:

Canada and Mexico were invisible and Alaska was out in the ocean with Hawaii, not bigger than Texas or attached to the country above us. In social studies class we had to learn 50! states and capitals. This year my kids studied Canadian history and only had to learn 10 provinces and 3 territories. I bet most Americans couldn't name them all. Here's a quick lesson:

The provinces (from left to right) are British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The territories are Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. What's the difference, you ask? Wikipedia says:

In modern Canadian constitutional theory, the provinces are considered to be co-sovereign divisions and each province has its own "Crown" represented by the lieutenant governor. The territories are not sovereign, but simply part of the federal realm, and have a commissioner who represents the federal government.

I don't pretend to fully understand that but hopefully I've helped some people know a little more about Canadian geography.

Finally, an interesting cultural note: When someone in Canada says "Down South" they mean the vacation spots below America like Mexico and the Bahamas. When Americans say "Down South" They mean the southern U.S. states like Georgia, Mississippi, etc.  When Canadians say "South of the Border" they mean America. When Americans say "South of the Border" they mean Mexico, or if you're from the east coast they mean this weird rest stop along I-95 in South Carolina.  

from pinterest

Nevertheless, we share this big continent of North America and despite the border between us, we're really very similar. Some people think of our relationship like this:

And others see it like this.

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