Our guest Marianne from Canada told us a lot of interesting things about Canada, about history, the cities, food, sports, and other activities. She told us that Canada’s name comes from the Iroquois word ”village”. The Canadian flag is red and white with a maple leaf. Canada is the second largest country in the world but there are only 35 million people there. The time difference between Finland and Canada is seven hours.
Canada is divided into 10 provinces. The biggest city is Toronto, but the capital city is Ottawa. Marianne is from Montreal, from Quebec. Quebec is a French-speaking province. Montreal is famous for her icehockey team the Montreal Canadiens. The Finnish Saku Koivu was the team captain for about ten years. He was called the Little Viking. Saku Koivu was loved in Montreal, not only for being a great player but also for raising money for a hospital and cancer patients. Montreal is a great place to have fun. This is due to historic reasons. During the Prohibition in the USA, Montreal was the place to go and have fun. There is a lot of street art, lots of festivals and also circus, Completely Circus, there, too. There are lots of cafés in Montreal, too. The traditional food of Montreal is the poutine: it’s French fries with cheese, gravy and lots of salt. Canada is famous for maple syrup: it’s gathered from a maple. It’s usually eaten with pancakes, but you can make maple syrup lollipops, too: you need hard maple syrup, put it on a stick, and roll it in snow. That’s popular especially in festivals and at Christmas. Christ ears, fried pig fat, is popular at Easter. Meat and sugar pies are popular, too and so is Chinese paté. Montreal hosted the 67 Expo and the 1976 summer olympics, where Lasse Virén won us two gold medals.
Canada just loves icehockey but she is good at other winter sports such as downhill skiing. Canadians are good swimmers, too. And Canadians have their own version of American football.
Canada is a peaceful country but she’s had difficult patches. Jacques Cartier discovered Canada in 1534 for France thinking he has arrived in India. The symbolic head of state, however, is the Queen of England. Canada became independent in 1867 but the battle between the English and the French continued as a battle between the two (languages). During World War II, Montreal was against all men being recruited (Canada fought alongside with the USA). The French-speaking Quebec province wanted independence, and there was violence due to it in the 1970’s. The Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (his son Justin Trudeau is the current Prime Minister) stopped the independence riots aggressively. There were two referendums about the independence later, in 1980 and in 1995, which the French-speaking population lost. Since 1977 everyone has to speak French in Quebec and learn it since 1st grade. In 1981 the constitution was changed to reduce the power of Quebec: Quebec still hasn’t signed the ”new” constitution. Nevertheless, 300 000 English-speaking people have left the province.
There is a lot of wildlife in Canada. Places like Yukon National Park, Prince Edward Island, Banff National Park in Alberta, the Niagara Falls, and Whistler, are all worth a visit.
Marianne herself studies Psychology. She has two big sisters. She likes skiing, reading and walking. She doesn’t have any pets at the moment.
Thank you very much, Marianne. You are nice, friendly and polite just like all the Canadians.
By classes 6a and 6c (May 2018)