Culture in Canada
Known for their polite, friendly, and relatively informal nature, along with deep-rooted respect for the environment, Canadian culture is as multicultural and diverse as its inhabitants.
In 1971, Canada became the first nation in the world to adopt a national policy of multiculturalism aimed to celebrate the country’s diversity. Consequently, Canada's commitment to governance emphasizing fairness, equality, inclusiveness, and social justice as fundamental values has wide public support.
Social indicators of Canada's political and cultural values can be seen in Government policies such as publicly funded health care, progressive taxation, efforts to eliminate poverty, and strict gun control- alongside legislation with a socially liberal stance toward women's rights, LGBTQ rights, euthanasia, cannabis use, and more. Canada's human rights law prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
Canada has 2 official languages: English and French. In Quebec, there is a strong French-Canadian cultural identity, distinct in customs and etiquette from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada's collection of regional ethnic subcultures makes up a rich cultural mosaic.
Representing 250 ethnic origins or ancestries, Canadians are free to practice any religion they choose. This includes people who adhere to Catholic, Protestant, Christian Orthodox, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, and many other faiths. Atheism has also been increasing steadily in recent times, with around 25% of Canadians declaring no religious affiliation.
Historically, the Canadian language, folklore, humour, culinary, art and music have been influenced mostly by a mixture of British, French, American and its own indigenous cultures and traditions. Over time, settlers with Caribbean, African and Asian nationalities have added to the Canadian identity and its culture.
Progressive, diverse, and multicultural. All this and more makes Canada a sought-after destination for international workers, students and immigrants. Hardly surprising, as of 2021, Canada is ranked as the #1 country in the world for quality of life.