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  • Canadians

    Mods: I couldn't really figure out where to put this thread, so I chose Trip Reports. Feel free to move it -- like you need my permission.

    Is it just me, or do others notice that people frequently "call out" Canadians in their trip reports?

    e.g.
    "We ran into 4 Canadians, all wearing cotton."
    "We followed 2 Canadians who were postholing all the way to Algonquin."
    "A car with Quebec plates was blocking another car at the TH."

    Trust me, political correctness is certainly not in my DNA, but I sometimes cringe when I see such references on this and another NE hiking forum, occasionally with a positive comment, but often criticizing them for some transgression or other. When I see this I think of what it would look like to replace "Canadians" with any of the following: black guys, gay people, women, Ma$$holes, city-slickers, flat-landers, New Jerseyites...as if any of those subsets of people are inherently bad for "our" trails or more prone to "break the rules".

    It's not my intention to call out anyone, but perhaps just to raise awareness. If any of these attributes is legitimately related to the transgression, or interaction, then making that identification seems fair. For example; "I approached a Canadian hiker to see if she could help me locate the Iroquois herd path and despite her poor English and my nonexistent French, she was able to put me on the right track."

    Imagine inserting "Americans" in place of "Canadians". Would it seem awkward or gratuitous? If so, maybe you want to rethink your choice of identifier.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Last edited by PA Ridgerunner; 01-14-2013, 10:44 AM.
    Nature we have always with us, an inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination - health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and a joy to the soul. - John Burroughs

  • #2
    Regarding your remark, the thread on trip report talking about Whiteface/Esther was also reported on fouderandos.

    My answer to that description, was sadly it piss me off because they are talking about Canadians instead of idiots who do not respect other people which in that case seems more accurate.
    8000m 0/14

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    • #3
      My only observations of out fellow neighbors to the north is that some of them seem to be non-communicable, ie. a friendly "hello" is returned with blank stares...

      Jay

      Life is a short, warm moment
      And death is a long cold rest.
      You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
      Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
      -Pink Floyd

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      • #4
        Speaking as a Canadian, moreover as a resident of the province of Québec (a "Québécois"), I feel the practice you described is a shorthand technique of identifying someone, especially as a way of putting distance between oneself and the alleged transgressor. I'm not defending it but, as I believe we can all agree, it is commonly employed. Many people will indicate someone is from 'another tribe' if their behaviour (values, opinions, etc) is disagreeable to them. Conversely, they'll be sure to identify the person as being from their tribe if the behaviour is to their liking.

        I suspect these 'tribal boundaries' shift and overlap depending on the circumstances. For example, if I insisted on post-holing, someone might choose to classify me by the largest and simplest category, namely my Canadian citizenship. If someone knew I'm from Québec, its likely they'd narrow it down to 'that post-holer from Québec' and if I had a French accent maybe even 'another one of those French post-holers from Québec'. It begins to suggest a pattern where one doesn't necessarily exist and can result in spreading an ugly lie.

        It's because of this lazy tendency to lump everyone in a broad category, as opposed to recognizing we are individuals, that I cringe when someone from my home province (an easily recognizable 'minority' owing to a French accent or a limited grasp of English) breaks a rule. In the court of public opinion, erroneous as it may be, they suggest all hikers from Québec can't follow rules. That simply isn't the case.

        I'm not a completely politically-correct animal because I usually identify fellow countrymen in my Trip Reports. For example, in my last TR I noted that I met two hikers from Québec. Around 12:45 PM, they were in the col below Bear Den and heading to Nippletop. I thought that was sort of late to be heading to Nippletop. But I didn't know them, they seemed young and fit, they had snowshoes, and so I said nothing more to them or about them in my TR. Based on what I've read in Fousderando.com, there are many experienced hikers in my home province and I may have met two of them. Or not; maybe they overestimated themselves and underestimated the hike. We all make mistakes. I mentioned their home province more out of kinship than suggesting they come from the land of rule-breakers and screw-ups (that place has no boundaries and, at one time or another, includes everyone).

        Can we stop identifying 'tribes' in our TR's? Maybe. It's certainly a worthwhile goal.
        Looking for Views!

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        • #5
          Here is the amusing part.... MOST LIKELY... a group is identified as being canadian because they are speaking French. (english canadians are harder to identify, unless you hear the 'Eh', see them with MEC gear, or drinking Tim Horton's coffee).

          The irony in this is that a fair percentage of those identified as 'Canadian' consider themselves "Quebecois(e)", and NOT Canadian.
          Guinness: Goes in brown, comes out yellow.

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          • #6
            I posted on another trip report thread this morning, and part of my post attempted to address this issue. Sadly I am unable to find that thread now. Maybe I'm blind, maybe I never really did make those posts, maybe the thread originator deleted the thread, or maybe I crossed a line (if so then I apologize) and the mods deleted it.

            Yes Steve, the problem you describe is real. I'd like to think that it is never intended to denigrate our neighbors to the north or their country, but I do fear that at least some of the comments I've seen have been intended that way. It speaks very poorly of those who made the posts, and I only hope that our neighbors to the north are not as quick to paint us (as in U.S.) with such a broad brush.
            Scooting here and there
            Through the woods and up the peaks
            Random Scoots awaits (DP)


            Eat, sleep, hike, repeat.

            It doesn't have to be viewtiful to be beautiful. (NL)

            "Pushing the limits of easy."

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            • #7
              LMAO @ "Tim Horton's". Ya knoe Pete we got Tim's also eh?

              Heres the deal. Its prejudice. If you call someone out on thier behavior, and then you finish your statement by attaching a moniker related to one of the 7 protected classes, (and possibly 1 or 2 others depending on your own personal politics) you are a bigot. Its that simple. National origin is a protected class, but apparently folks don't identify it that way like they do race or religion.

              So my Canadian friends. Please forgive the obtuseness of some of my fellow countrymen. They know not what they do.

              Now, if we could just get these Ma$$holes, Jerseys, and Long Island Trash, to stay at home it might not be so bad up here. (Pensyltucky gets a pass I find those folks to be fun)

              (Just kidding people from the flat-lands, please come up early, and come up often. I need to fleece your wallets with overpriced crap made in china so I can feed my dogs)
              Last edited by Commissionpoint; 01-14-2013, 11:39 AM.
              Adopt a natural resource. Give back.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
                Is it just me, or do others notice that people frequently "call out" Canadians in their trip reports?
                That's because all Canadians are no-good, worth................... Whoa, whoa whoa.... Wait a minute. I forgot we are in "playing nice" mode.

                Forgive me people, I had to do a little self moderation..... What can I say, I might be a little skewed in my opinion because the only Canadian I know well is Neil. I should get like a free pass or something.

                p.s. Interesting thread concept PA. I've noted that before too.

                Originally posted by randomscooter View Post
                maybe the thread originator deleted the thread.
                Bingo. Self Moderated.
                "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jay H View Post
                  My only observations of out fellow neighbors to the north is that some of them seem to be non-communicable, ie. a friendly "hello" is returned with blank stares...

                  Jay
                  Many French-speaking hikers do not speak English or have a limited grasp. If you're ill at ease speaking a language, it's unlikely you will want to engage someone in conversation. I don't know if you speak Spanish (I don't) but if someone said ¡Hola! to you, you might hesitate to respond for fear of being caught tongue-tied when they begin to engage you in a conversation.

                  Next time you suspect you've encountered a seemingly non-communicative northern neighbour, follow your "hello" with a "salut" (sah-LOO) and you may get a broad smile. If they proceed to speak to you in French, then (unless you speak French) it's your turn to provide a blank stare.
                  Looking for Views!

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                  • #10
                    Out of curiosity, was the Canadian car blocking another Canadian Car? I will stay out of the cotton discussion. It would be entertaining to have the Great Range catwalk where we could display metro-sexual hikers who have the latest and greatest gear.

                    My experiences with Canadians in the Adirondacks have been pleasant. I find most of my problems are with white people which makes me an equal opportunity hater. If you have an opportunity to educate and folks are receptive that is a win.

                    -M
                    ADK 46/46 20W
                    Catskills 39/39 27W
                    NE115 103/115

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PA Ridgerunner View Post
                      When I see this I think of what it would look like to replace "Canadians" with any of the following: black guys, gay people, women, Ma$$holes, city-slickers, flat-landers, New Jerseyites...as if any of those subsets of people are inherently bad for "our" trails or more prone to "break the rules".
                      Without getting too specific, there are trends in some of the people groups you mention above. But that does not make everyone who is [whatever] an evil person.

                      Totally fictitious example:

                      "From the brand new parka, jeans, and lack of snowshoes, I concluded the 'flat-lander' was not familiar with winter hiking",

                      could be appropriate, whereas,

                      "From the brand new parka, jeans, and lack of snowshoes, I concluded the [whatever] was not familiar with winter hiking",

                      could be grounds for a warning from the admins.
                      Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

                      Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
                      Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
                      Past President Catskill 3500 Club
                      CEO Views And Brews!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
                        If they proceed to speak to you in French, then (unless you speak French) it's your turn to provide a blank stare.
                        I can do ok in French, its the Joual I have to concentrate listening to. After living in Paris, and then later in Burgundy I have the home country French down pretty good. If you fly from CDG to YUL you will notice somewhere over Iceland the dialect shifts and you had best be prepared for it.

                        Pepsi and Oreos anyone?
                        Adopt a natural resource. Give back.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
                          Many French-speaking hikers do not speak English or have a limited grasp. If you're ill at ease speaking a language, it's unlikely you will want to engage someone in conversation. I don't know if you speak Spanish (I don't) but if someone said ¡Hola! to you, you might hesitate to respond for fear of being caught tongue-tied when they begin to engage you in a conversation.

                          Next time you suspect you've encountered a seemingly non-communicative northern neighbour, follow your "hello" with a "salut" (sah-LOO) and you may get a broad smile. If they proceed to speak to you in French, then (unless you speak French) it's your turn to provide a blank stare.
                          That's actually very insightful. However, no disrespect to my fellow Americans, I think as a general baseline, many Americans would hesitate to offer greetings in another language here in the USA. Not sure if it's an ego thing, or just goes against natural tendencies. I just think it feels unnatural to many of us.

                          That's a pretty broad characterization I know, but would probably hold up given a broad cross-section of Americans.
                          "The forest is the poor man's overcoat. " Old Northeastern Proverb

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                          • #14
                            @commissionpoint
                            Same thing happens to English between LHR and JFK!
                            Looking for Views!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
                              @commissionpoint
                              Same thing happens to English between LHR and JFK!
                              Indeed, but there is more of us than there are of them. So we're right and they're lucky we didn't carry the revolution back to them and teach them how to speak.
                              Adopt a natural resource. Give back.

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