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Customs & Behavior:
When choosing your clothes in Canada, try not to wear anything new, trendy, or revealing. Classic and conservative clothes are more respected. When in public, if you use the "V for Victory", or more commonly known as the "peace" sign, with two of your fingers up and separated, make sure your palm is facing outwards. If your palm is facing towards you, it is considered an insult. When you are out and about in public, try to avoid walking and eating. Also, gifts in Canada are rarely given, and when they are given, they are modest. Lavish gifts are frowned upon, even though the receiver will be polite and accept the gift. (http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/canada.htm) You should usually carry at least two different types of ID on you at a time. Also, if you are a tourist under the age of eighteen, it would be a wise idea to carry your birth certificate with you. (http://www.bing.com/search?q=canadian+customs&form=QBLH&qs=n) Canadians will shake hands often- even on multiple encounters of the same day. (http://www.cyborlink.com/besite/canada.htm)

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Canada has four holidays that are different from the United States'. See The United States for the prominent holidays. They are: Family Day, Victoria Day, Civic Day and Boxing Day. (http://www.canada-city.ca/holidays.php)

Family Day:
Family Day is basically a day (the third Monday in February) where the whole family takes off a day and goes together to do various fun things. The parents still get paid for a full day. (http://gocanada.about.com/od/canadatravelplanner/qt/family_day.htm)

Victoria Day:
Every year on the Monday prior to May 25th, Victoria Day is celebrated. Every year this day honors the Queens Victoria (thus the name) and the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. People typically take a day off of work to spend with their families, and just relax. (http://www.inglewoodcarecentre.com/history/victoria.htm)

Civic Day:
Civic Day is celebrated on August 3rd every year, and it is fundamentally a day where the goal is “not to work”. Civic is not a legitimate holiday, but the people want it to be. It is like playing “hooky” from school, but this holiday is centered towards the adults. Civic Day is not as important as the other Canadian holidays, but is celebrated just the same. This day is typically accompanied by parades, fireworks, and other celebratory matters. (http://www.canada-city.ca/holiday.php?day=4)

Boxing Day:
As said on: (http://www.calendar-updates.com/info/holidays/canada/boxing.aspx)
"Boxing Day, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen (after the first Christian martyr), originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century under Queen Victoria. It originated as a holiday for members of the merchant class to give boxes containing food and fruit, clothing, and/or money to trades people and servants. The gifts were an expression of gratitude similar to the bonuses many employers offer their employees today. These gifts, usually given in boxes, gave the holiday its name, "Boxing Day"."

Canadian Civic
Canadian Civic
Victoria Day
Victoria Day


Ethnic Characteristics of Canada:
Canada is not that diverse when it comes to percentages of people from different countries. Of the people in Canada roughly 80% is a Canadaian by birth. People of French origin make up only 23% of the population, except in Quebec where French makes up 80%. African, Asian, and Arabs make up approximately 6%. ( http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Canada-ETHNIC-GROUPS.html)

The United States:

In the United States there are many cultures from things like business to being out in public. For a complete list of cultures in the United States go to http://www.usastudyguide.com/customshabits.htm. Here is customs on Meeting somebody as quoeted from
"Meeting someone
When meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to shake hands, both for men and for women. Hugs are only exchanged between close friends. Kissing is not common, and men never kiss other men.
Americans will usually introduce themselves by their first name and last name (such as “Hello, I’m John Smith”), or, if the setting is very casual, by their first name only (“Hi, I’m John”). The common response when someone is introduced to you is “Pleased to meet you.” Unless someone is introduced to you with their title and last name (such as Mister Smith or Miss Johnson), you should address them by their first name. Americans normally address everyone they meet in a social or business setting by their first name. However, you should always address your college professors by their title and last name (such as Professor Jones), unless they ask you to do otherwise."

A busy American street
A busy American street


The United States has four prominent holidays: New Years Eve, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. (http://www.opm.gov/Operating_Status_Schedules/fedhol/2009.asp).

New Years Eve:
New Years Eve is just as it says, it is the last day before the new year. One this day parties are common and they have a lot of alcohol. Also on New Years in New York City a big ball drops down in the final minute of whatever year it is. When the ball gets to the bottom it is the New Year and people throw confetti. It should be noted that the ball reaching the bottom doesn't mean it is the New Year if it is a few seconds early or late, it just symbolizes it. Other places in the United States do a similar thing, just with different objects (like an acorn) (http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/new-year-eve).

Independence Day:
Independence Day in the United States is the day that the United States said to Britain that they would be their own country, not just colonies. It is celebrated every year on July 4th. The reason that the United States wanted independence from Britain was for several reasons. The main reason though was that the colonies were getting taxed and they didn't have a say in it (now you get the phrase 'Taxation without Representation'). After many altercations between colonists and the British the colonies decided to wage war against the British (http://www.holidays.net/independence/story.htm). Thankfully the United States won the war (http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/northamerica/after1500/history/revolution.htm). Nowadays on Independence Day there are picnics, parades and fireworks (http://homeschooling.about.com/cs/unitssubjhol/a/4thofjuly.htm).

In 1621, the pilgrims who came over to America to find new land met the Winnebago Indians, with whom they had a great feast during the harvest time of the year. This meal was used to represent peace and thanks between the Indians and the new people. Today, this harvest is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and is a huge holiday for all Americans. (http://gonewengland.about.com/cs/thanksgivingfacts/a/aawhenthksgivg.htm)

In the United States Christmas is a very big holiday. Christmas takes place every December 25th. People usually will cut sown small trees and put them in their houses. Young Children believe in Santa Claus, who is said to bring good children toys. Around or on this time many families who celebrate it have big dinners ((http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/us.htm). For Christians that celebrate Christmas there is a story behind it. The story goes that a woman, Mary, became pregnant despite being a virgin. An angel later told her that her child was the son of God. Mary's husband, Joesph, had to go back to Bethlehem to register in a census. When he and Mary got there Mary gave birth to Jesus in a barn and the son of God was born (http://christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/christmasstory.htm). It should be noted that even though Christmas is on the 25th of December this is not the date Jesus was born (http://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/was-jesus-born-on-december-25-faq.htm).



Ethnic Characteristics of the United States:
As for Ethnic Characteristics, the United States id very diverse. Most of the people in the USA are of European origin (English, Irish, German), but many aren't. Whites make up 75.1% of our population, while Hispanics and blacks make up no more than 12.3-12.5%. Asians make up 3.7%, and Native Americans (Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts) make up 0.9% of the American population. (http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/United-States-ETHNIC-GROUPS.html)


Mexico has many customs for various things. For a complete list of customs go to **http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/mexico-country-profile.html**. Here is Dining Etiquette from **http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/mexico-country-profile.html**:

"If you are invited to a Mexican's home:
. Arrive 30 minutes late in most places (check with colleagues to see if you should arrive later than that).
. Arriving on time or early is considered inappropriate.
. At a large party you may introduce yourself.
. At a smaller gathering the host usually handles the introductions."

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Mexico has many holidays. Some of the more important holidays are Carnaval, Cinco de Mayo, and Dia de los Muertos (http://www.mexonline.com/holiday.htm).

This celebration is a great festival in Mexico that lasts for a few days and precceds lent. It is a last big party before giving up meat for lent. Carnaval in Latin means '
take away or goodbye to flesh' referring to giving up meat from http://www.mexonline.com/carnaval.htm. At carnaval there is multiple booths, rides, and fireworks. People also throw cicerones at each other. They are according to http://www.mexonline.com/carnaval.htm, confetti filled eggshells (http://www.mexonline.com/carnaval.htm). If you want to go down for Carnaval the 2010 celebration is between February 10-16 (http://www.mexicoguru.com/mazatlans-carnival.php).

Cinco de Mayo:
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that takes place every May fifth. It is a national holiday that honors a famous battle, The Battle of Puebla, which took place in 1862. What happened was Mexico owned many countries money. When it stopped making payments to France, they attacked. The Mexican army of forty-five hundred defeated the army at Puebla, Mexico, which had two thousand more men then they had. The French did end up trying again and won but France only ruled for about three years. The celebration these days is huge in Puebla and is even popular in some states in the United States do to the amount of Mexicans (http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm).

Dia de los Muertos:
Dia de los Muertos (also known as The Day of the Dead) is a holiday in Mexico that Takes place in late October to early November every year. Ironically even though it is called The Day of the Dead it actual takes place on more than one day. During Dia de los Muertos people say that the deceased come back to Earth (http://www.mexonline.com/dayofthedead.htm). Families put out food and also play music that the dead person liked. One of the types of food that is made each year is a type of bread called Pan de Muerto. They look like skellitons covered in frosting. Another important thing that families do is set up an alter to the dead family members (http://www.mexonline.com/amigonews/00october.htm).

Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo
Dia de los Muertos
Dia de los Muertos


Ethnic Characteristics:
In Mexico there is different types of ethnicity. According to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/mx.html"the percentage of diversity in Mexico is 'Mestizo (Amerindian-Spanish) 60%, Amerindian or predominantly Amerindian 30%, white 9%, other 1%'."