Some of the more well-known Canadian stereotypes that I knew of prior to visiting was that apparently Canadians werestrange bearded lumberjack folk who lived in igloos, can’t pronounce many English words correctly, said ‘eh?’ after everything and all had Hockey teeth (loads of chipped teeth). After visiting, I’d like to say that whoever came up with stereotypes are wicked foolish. Yes, I met a few (out of hundreds) Canadians who said ‘eh?’ occasionally, but other than that, there might be one person in the entire country that fits any of the other stereotypical things that I grew up hearing about. Instead, I found interesting people, like others that I’ve met elsewhere abroad. I met many nice people who became friends and I met some that were not so nice, but everyone was still wonderful in their own ways. Now, America isn’t the only country to have it all wrong about their neighboring lands. It goes to show how ridiculous it is that our world has been so separated for so long – every place is different, yet every place is the same.
When you travel slow and live among local people in foreign lands, your stereotypes and previous notions wash away, and are replaced with compassion and understanding. However, when you only live in your little ‘bubble’ for your entire life, the only thing that does is promote ignorance. That’s how racism and hate outlast through generations. As the world gets smaller, the acceptance of the unfamiliar tends to shrink as well – with true firsthand experience, one grows in wisdom, and the world grows closer together.