Canada is the second largest country in the world and is the large land mass between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
Area: 9,984,670 km 2.
Population: 33.5 million. Population increases are due to immigration.
People: 40% British Descent (that’s me.)
25% Fresh descent
3% German descent
4% First Nations
*Minorites of Italian, Ukrainian, Dutch, Greek, Polish and Chinese.
Did you know: new immigrants to Canada are encouraged to keep their cultural backgrounds and beliefs as part of their identities whereas new immigrants to America are told to assimilate themselves into American culture. This is why Canada is known as a multicultural country.
Government: Governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy.
Monarch: Queen Elizabeth II
Governor General: David Johnston
Prime Minister: Stephen Harper
Currency: Canadian Dollar
Official Language: English & French
Interesting facts Canada:
- Canada is ranked as the 8th most developed country in the world.
- There are 1.4 million Italian emigrates living in Canada.
- Younge Street in Toronto is the longest street in the world.
- Canada also has the longest coastline in the world reaching 202,080 km.
- The Blackberry was developed in Ontario, Canada.
- Canada was invaded by the US twice, first in 1775 then again in 1812.
- Canada holds the record for most gold medals won at a winter Olympics.
- Canada became a country on July 1st, 1867.
- Lacrosse is Canada’s official national game. But it’s ice hockey which we play best.
- Canadian inventions: Kerosene, insulin, IMAX film system, the snowmobile, the electric cooking range, 5-pin bowling, basketball, garbage bags, goalie mask, instant mashed potatoes (ewww), and the zipper.
- A bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short) and his love for the bear cub inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne, about Winnie-the-Pooh.
- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were formed in 1873.
- Canada is home to 55,000 different species of insects.
- Ontario is home to the worlds smallest jail, measuring 24.3 sq. meters.
- The dollar coin is called a Loonie and a two dollar coin is called a Toonie.
- University and College are not the same thing.
- A toque is a hat, worn in the winter.
- Canadians say “thank you, excuse me, and I’m sorry,” more than any other nationality in the world.
- There are more lakes in Canada than the rest of the world combined.
- Canada produces a delicious desert wine called icewine.
- The largest city in Canada is Toronto. Housing approximately 5 million people.
- The Canadian motto: A Mari Usque ad Mare, means “From sea to sea.”
- Famous Canadians: Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Michael J. Fox, Rick Hansen, Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, James Cameron, Mike Myers, Keifer Sutherland.
Italy is the 71st largest country in the world and is the land mass which resembles a boot.
Area: 301,338 km 2
People: 92.5% Italian, 4% other European, 1% North African, 2.5% others (that’s me!) In 2010 there were 4,235,059 foreign nationals who were registered with the authorities and living in Italy. Approximately 7.1% of the Italian population.
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Republic.
President: Giorgio Napolitano
Silvio Berlusconi. Mario Monti. Enrico Letta 2013.
Official Language: Italian; co-official French in Aosta Valley and Slovene.
Interesting facts Italy:
- Pizza was invented in Naples in the 1860’s.
- Italy is ranked as the worlds 23rd most developed country.
- The word ‘pizza,’ is an Italian word, and is understood the world over.
- Italy’s unemployment rate is 8.6% and 20% in the south.
- Pinocchio is Italian.
- The average Italian consumes half a pound of bread a day. (Unless you live in my house and it’s closer to a pound.)
- Italian inventions: the thermometer, the piano, the first battery was invented by an Italian in 1779, the nuclear reactor, the espresso machine, the typewriter, the Vespa (an Italian scooter), the violin and cello.
- Italy is the 4th most visited country in the world.
- Most unmarried children still live at home with Mom and Dad, even well into their 40’s.
- Italians consume about 25 kilograms of pasta per year and 26 gallons of wine a year.
- Italy became a united country in 1861.
- The national sport of Italy is soccer.
- Italy has the most elevators world-wide.
- Famous Italians: Toto, Sophia Loren, Marco Polo, Sergio Leone, Victor Emmanuel II (King of Sardinia 1820-1878,) Dante, and da Vinci.
Did you know?
- The entire country of Italy would fit nicely into Canada’s Hudson Bay.
- In Italy they change the price of stamps often and there is no publicized commercial telling the population so.
- In the smaller towns in Italy it’s strange to see women sitting in the piazza (unless you are Canadian, therefore me ne frego, I’ll sit where I want) generally this is where the men go and the women stay home to cook and clean.
- In Canada we are all equal.
- 91.6% of the Italian population are Catholics.
- Canada has a very low birth rate, thanks to the educational system teaching youngsters about STD’s and condoms.
- Italy is Canada’s 11th largest export market.
- Canada and Italy have academic and youth exchange programs.
- Both countries drive on the right side of the road.
- Most Italian souvenirs with the country outline forget about beautiful Sardinia.
- Sardinia’s people reach the age of 100 more so than any other country in the world. Must be the fantastic diet and fresh clean air. A traditional Sardinian greeting is A kent’annos, May you live to 100.
- Sardinia has the highest unemployment rate in Italy.
- The tiny island of Asinara is inhabited by 250 white donkeys.
- Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean.
- The English phrase “Sardonic grin” comes from the effect of a toxic local herb which causes convulsive laughter in its victims.
Canada will forever and always be my birth country. I will always be Canadian to the true north strong and free. Italy is my home away from home, it is here where I feel more at peace with myself.
I’d like to leave you with a short five-minute cartoon video I found on YouTube. It really puts things into perspective. The fist time I watched this video I was living in Canada, and my future husband hadn’t called yet. I felt that the video was exaggerating the Italian life. Now almost four years of living in Italy, I see that this video is rather true to form.
Italy VS Europe
Do you live outside your birth country? Which nationality do you feel more connected to?