Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Canucks unite

(You'll notice I'm cheating a bit today!)

This is what it looked like at our house at 7:30 a.m. this morning.

That's because it's July 1st, Canada Day. Whee. You can read up about it here, if you like. It's a work and school day in Germany, so no big celebrations going on at our house. Perhaps a quiet salmon BBQ later with a bit of flag waving.

So what sort of things do YOU identify with Canada? The maple leaf? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (oh, I DO love a man in uniform!)? What about Canada's national animal? That would be the castor canadensis, more commonly known as the beaver. Yes, the little old beaver.

I was turfing some stuff out of Boy12's room and came across a most interesting and entertaining Canadian souvenir given to him by some well-meaning relative.


And at the bottom of the can we have

Caution: These beavers have been known to snuggle you to sleep.

Attention: Ces castors peuvent se blottir contre vous pour vous endormir.

You'll notice the French on there as well as English. That's because as a rule, all products sold in Canada must be labeled in both of Canada's official languages. Does this mean that my French has ever progressed past first year university level? Nope, unfortunately not.

If we turn the can around a bit we find




Hmm. This gets better all the time.

Here's the back of the can

It gives us some miscellaneous castor canadensis facts, including talk of late night tale slapping parties and the ability to cut down up to 200 trees a year with their razor-sharp incisors. Scary.

And way down at the bottom a serious warning

Always treat wild animals with respect.
Respectez toujours les animaux sauvages.

Indeed. You wouldn't want to get in the way of one of these guys in a dark alley.

If you still can't get enough, here's a Canada Day quiz. See if you can identify these Canadianisms.

1. toque
2. loonie
3. toonie
4. chesterfield
5. serviette
6. Kraft Dinner
7. 40-pounder
8. two-four
9. homo milk

and my kids' all time favourite

11.gonch pull

Got them all? Scroll down to see how you scored.
1. knitted cap
2. Canadian 1$ coin
3. Canadian 2$ coin
4. couch/sofa
5. napkin
6. Kraft macaroni and cheese
7. 40-ounce bottle of spirits
8. 24-can flat of beer
9. homogenized/whole milk
10.garbage disposal

Isn't Canadian English weird? Just in case you want to hear me speaking it, here's a repeat of a recording I did as an "accent meme" in 2006. Just click on play - you'll probably have to turn up your speakers quite high.

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At July 01, 2008 2:07 p.m., Blogger justmysize said...

My biggest word association with Canada is "poutine" - a Canadian friend of mine took me to a Canadian restaurant in LA just to try it.

I prefer the maple syrup:)

At July 01, 2008 2:17 p.m., Blogger Maria said...

I know the Canadian anthem, and my favorite item from Canada-- their maple syrup. We sometimes tapped our own trees in the north of MN, which is the only syrup I like better than the Canadian variety. OK. They do have some good beer too. I'll give 'em that. :)

At July 01, 2008 2:36 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Oye! I'm in trouble today! Shame on me... I don't even own a Canadian flag :(

The only expression I didn't know was the last one. HA!

Happy Canada Day, eh? :D

At July 01, 2008 6:03 p.m., Blogger Helen said...

I did surprisingly well on the Canadianisms. I missed the 40-pounder and the two-four. I admit to laugh-at-first-sight on the "gonch pull" - that, my dear Commonwealth brethren, is pure gold.

But my oh my, canned beaver....

Happy Canada Day!

At July 01, 2008 6:10 p.m., Blogger GL'sD said...

Got ten, missed gonch pull. But than, have lived near Canada for 40 years.

At July 01, 2008 6:16 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Canada Day Mausi & co.

και καλό μήνα of course :-)

(Καλό μήνα = Happy New Month)

At July 01, 2008 6:39 p.m., Blogger The Big Finn said...

Ever a good quiz, eh?

I got aboot 10 of them right.

At July 01, 2008 6:47 p.m., Blogger Regina said...

Happy Canada Day ... and I love the beaver, very funny!!!

At July 01, 2008 7:30 p.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Happy Canada Day, Mausi! Since more than half our family is Canadian, and Hubby is actually a first generation American born from Canadian parents, we celebrate many wonders of the "eh" land. Last year we actually attended a family reunion in the Maritimes. Wow, can you Canadians party!
So my dear friend, I know today you are a little homesick, but remember, Canada is always in your heart and soul! :~)

At July 01, 2008 9:10 p.m., Anonymous ian in hamburg said...

As Leslie Nielsen said in ... was it The Naked Gun? - as he looked up the ladder:

Nice Beaver!

At July 02, 2008 11:06 p.m., Blogger christina said...

justmysize - You know, I have yet to try poutine but I might this time. Not really a West Coast thing.

maria - Yeah, the maple syrup is great. Cool that you tapped your own trees!

CanSwiss - Well as long as you were waving the little flag in your heart all is forgiven!

helen - Good for you on the quiz. I think the gonch pull has been around for eons. We used that term when I was in elementary school.

gl'sd - Congratulations! I'm sure some of the terms are the same close to the border.

ellasdevil - Thanks!

TBF - Well done!

regina - Thank you! I wonder who thinks up these souvenirs?

maribeth - Awww, thanks. We'll be in Vancouver in just over a week and I CAN'T wait!!

ian - I knew you'd say that! :-)

At July 07, 2008 9:08 p.m., Blogger CaliforniaKat said...

That beaver in a can was hilarious! No further comment.

At July 16, 2008 4:37 p.m., Blogger Arashi-KIshu said...

Hey Mausi will be doing the meme!


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