Despite the fact that Canada has been in the spotlight these past few years, there are still a lot of things about the country that outsiders don't understand. Aside from common themes like maple syrup, quirky language and Justin Trudeau, Canada, for the most part, still remains a mystery to several people around the world.
In a recent submission on AskReddit, one user asked non-Canadians to disclose what they don't understand about Canada. In just one day, the thread managed to garner over 20,000 comments, with Canadians providing answers to the world's most burning questions about their home and native land.
Here are some of the best questions and answers about Canada:
1. What's up with all the islands? Do people actually live on them?
"The ones up north? Barely. A couple of towns, some villages, a scientist's base or two, no more." - Svalbard38
"The people who traditionally live there are Inuit, to add to this. They have lived there for centuries and still hunt for a lot of their food, though their way of life involves more snowmobiles than dogsleds nowadays." - smuffleupagus
2. Do people really do the maple syrup on a stick out of the snow? I know there is a name for it but I can't seem to find it.
"F*** yeah we do. It's predominantly an Eastern/Atlantic thing in Canada where all the syrup is made. Works better with 'raw' maple syrup, you don't f*** with Aunt Jemima out here or you could get your ass beat.
Boil the syrup, pour the syrup on the snow, jam a stick in there, let it all solidify - you've got yourself an instant maple lollipop." - EarthBounder
3. Do you learn French and English in school all across the country?
"Yes but you forget all about the other language once you leave school. By other language I mean French if you're an anglophone and English if you're a francophone." - hidethebodynow
"Or you never learn the language at all 'cause teachers suck. I was born and raised French until grade 1 where I went to an English school. I lost all my French, which was my mother tongue, in a couple of months. Partly due to the fact that I had no French friends, but also because the teacher didn't teach me anything." - thefuzbun
4. What's up with the Kraft Dinner thing? You guys talk about it like it's the food of the Gods.
"Read this question to my Canadian girlfriend. Her response: "It is." FYI, Kraft Dinner is just Kraft Mac 'N' Cheese with a different name." - sheamcvaugh
"I ran blind taste tests with both USA Kraft Mac 'N' Cheese and Canadian KD. Same salted water, same cooking time, same everything else. Everyone said KD is better by a large gap, including the Yanks." - Trogdor_T_Burninator
5. LCBOs. As an Englishman, it was really confusing not being able to buy booze at the corner shops or supermarkets I went to.
"That's an Ontario thing. The Ontario government has a monopoly on the sale of alcohol within the province, and this stems from a prohibition-era decision; except nowadays, it makes too much money for the Ontario government to give it up, so they keep it. - throwaway801780
"A lot of grocery stores now actually have aisles for alcohol, but definitely not all of them. It's completely different in Québec, though! I spent the past couple summers there to learn French, and alcohol was available not only in grocery stores, but convenience stores and gas stations as well!" - NotATorontonian
6. What is the deal with Quebec? Do they even consider themselves Canadians?
"It's honestly pretty split. Like there are so many categories of people who want different things. Some people refuse anything English and want to separate, but lots of places are very Anglicized." - Returnofthequeen9224
"Quebec has a different culture. Different language than most of Canada, different expressions from France. Quebec produces its own music, its own TV shows, its own movies, its own TV reality, its own humourists, its own radio shows, etc." - Jellyka
7. Is the money really waterproof?
"Well get this - Not only are the bills waterproof, THE COINS ARE TOO!" - cantthinkofaname
"Any hoser who throws a toonie into a fountain deserves to lose that $2." - ThatGeoGuy
"I'm from Michigan. If I may provide a rough translation: Any dumbass that throws two dollars worth of quarters in a fountain, deserves to lose those quarters." - SuddenLiberty
"Nice try lad, but toonie is a $2 single coin. Not quite a quarter." - Tormunds_demise
8. What is Boxing Day and where did it originate?
"Comes from a tradition of boxing up Christmas leftovers and no longer needed items for the poor. Became a day for stores to get rid of inventory after Christmas." - BillyNoMates12
"A sh*tty Black Friday... It's on December 26. It used to have good deals (five years ago)... Now it does not." - FatmanOnKeto
9. I've always wondered what Canadian stereotypes are. Like, in the US, we have places where we say "Oh, that's where the country people live." or "These people are all crazy (Florida)," stuff like that.
"Here are some (obviously not all are true): Saskatchewan - farmers, wheat fields, cold winters. Territories - snow, igloos, polar bears. Toronto - people that think they're the centre of the universe. Quebec - French people that hate the rest of the country. Alberta - oil. Newfoundland - weird accents, moose. PEI - potatoes." - jamaicancovfefe
"Alberta sounds pretty accurate. I used to describe AB as the Texas of Canada. That's the only way my American roommates used to get half the stuff I'd talk about." - gudetamia
"And BC is the California. The geography even kinda matches up." -arcanemachined
10. Are flannel shirts mandatory?
"No, but they're great." - I_am_human_00781
"Yes but in the summer we cut the sleeves to stay cool eh" - roundhousekicktothe
11. Why is it that half the comedians in Hollywood are from Canada? Is there something in your diet that makes you funny?
"Being freezing cold 8 months out of the year builds a lot of character." - Beethead
"Montreal in particular has a very large comedy scene, and hosts the biggest international comedy festival in the world (Just For Laughs). So it's helpful that the city serves as a great platform for comedians to get their start." - l-a
12. Bags of milk. What, why and how?
"I'm pretty sure that's more of an eastern/Ontario thing. We don't have bagged milk here in Alberta." - R1DER_of_R0HAN
"A) Less waste - the plastic in a milk bag is far, far less than the material in a milk carton. B) It separates the milk into 1L bags, which keeps the other two unopened bags fresher, as they aren't opened until you need them. C) It's easier to get the last drop of milk out of a bag than it is out of a carton. D) Milk bags are easier to pour once you know how to do it. There's nothing as satisfying as the perfect stream of milk coming out of a perfectly cut milk bag." - throwaway801780
13. How are Canadians born? I mean, I've seen the GIF of a fully grown man coming out of a frozen lake with a hockey stick and skating away. I just don't understand how it all works.
"It's more alchemy than birth. Cut a hole in the ice, dump in coffee, moose blood, the head of a Canada goose and a full set of hockey gear. Stir the hole, then cover with a tarp and leave for 1-2 months. Your Canuck will pop out when it's fully formed." - asusoverclocked
"It's very important that you stir with the hockey stick, or they may come out French Canadian." - NamWarrior412
14. My dad doesn't believe that everyone in Canada gets free health care.
"Not everything is free, but ER visits and the like usually are. You broke your arm? Free. Choking? Free. Your baby stuck celery up her nose? Free. Source: I'm the baby who stuck celery up her nose." - rainbowlack
"Dentist: not free. Ambulance ride: probably not free. Cancer treatment: free. Heart surgery: free. Flu shot: free. Family doctor: free. Specialist doctors: free. Pre-natal care/delivery: free. Parking: not free." - Biuku
15. I am American. I tried poutine in Ontario. Literally everyone here does not understand it. I don't understand that about the U.S.
"I am Canadian, and I popped down to the States and was amazed by the lack of poutine. It's the food of the gods, I thought you guys would be all over this sh*t." - _b1ack0ut
"It's cheese, gravy and fries. Like, how has that not skyrocketed to popularity in the States?" - ThaNorth
16. Is life really like the show LetterKenny?
"I live in Southern Ontario, about 3 hrs away from Toronto outside a smallish university town. The rural areas are almost exactly like LetterKenny. My grandparents friends have thick accents and I have to ask them to slow down when they're speaking or I can't understand them. Also watch the "Out For a Rip" song. Filmed and made outside my town." - the-hourglass-man
"Surprisingly so in some places. Same can be said for Trailer Park Boys." - citationmustang
17. Do you really all say sorry a lot?
"Yes, but we don't say sorry as if we are apologizing. There's a marked difference between "sorry" and "I'm sorry". We use sorry in place of terms like "excuse me". It's commonplace and we all mutually understand that we aren't really apologizing we are just making use of social niceties." - EntertheOcean
"Sorry but yes we do" - FatmanOnKeto
18. How do they stay under the radar next to the USA who gets involved in everything?
"Because we don't stir up trouble with other countries." - jamaicancovfefe
"Its like standing next to a guy in a bar who wants to fight every person in the building and you are going to get an elbow to face and be drawn in whether you like it or not." - cornbeefandcabbage
19. How is anyone supposed to legally immigrate to Canada? From what I've gathered, you've got to be either a starving refugee fresh off the boat or a rocket surgeon... Not much in between. As a European this bums me to no end.
"You need to have skills Canada requires... Or come to do jobs Canadians won't. You could marry your way in. Buying your way in takes too long these days." - hassh
"We're actually low on potential employees right now, which makes right now the best opportunity to immigrate to Canada. British Columbia will hand you a visa if you're a qualified teacher, for example. See if your industry is something we need right now and apply today. It isn't always rocket surgery!" - throwaway801780
20. Are you really as nice as people say on the Internet?
"It depends. There're f***ers here like everywhere. You can't really generalize that much about 36,000,000 people." - Trap_Luvr
"Listen. Canada has assholes, lots of them. But we were smart about it and decided to put them all in one place and call it 'Quebec.'" - gbcr
21. Is Tim Hortons and poutine really that good?
"Tim Hortons has gone downhill. They changed their coffee so its worse, and now all their baked goods come in frozen. Poutine lives up to its reputation. The ultimate comfort food." - DangerousPuhson
"Poutine is good, Tim Hortons is just convenient." - swampy_pillow
Read the full thread on Reddit here.