People Of Canada!

For the past week, I was the curator of the @PeopleOfCanada Twitter account. I got to share a bunch of stories, and meet some interesting people, and comment on Canadian culture. Such fun! Right near the end, though, there was one exchange in particular which I liked...

I posed the question, "How can you tell if someone's from Newfoundland?"

"First, here's a picture of me jumping off a staircase into the Arctic Ocean. Pretty crazy, right?"

"Now, here's a picture of someone jumping off the top deck of a ship into the Arctic Ocean, carrying a hockey stick with the Newfoundland flag on it."

"If someone does the latter, it's a safe bet they're from Newfoundland."

I thought it was a cute little inversion of the "newfie joke," and a fun picture, too. And then I got an honest, well-meaning tweet from a fellow in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"Maybe I'm missing something," he asked, "but wouldn't it be unlikely for other people from Canada to jump into the ocean with a flag of Newfoundland?"

I explained to him that part of the joke was that newfies were loud and proud when it came to identifying with their province - someone from Ontario, for example, would be unlikely to *own* a full-size flag of Ontario, let alone take it along for a jump into the ocean.

He thought about this before replying. "Oh! So Newfoundlanders are nice."

...perhaps Portuguese is a more nuanced and complex language than I thought. Because I'm pretty confident it would take more than four letters to describe Newfoundlanders in English.

"Yes," I answered, not sure what else to say.

You owe me one, Newfoundland.

1 comment:

Zombiegyrl said...

And far more than 140 characters! Well done,

About The Author

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Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.