Culture can be defined as the behaviours and belief characteristics of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. Every country has its own special way of life. Canada’s in particular can be considered unique because Canada is a cultural mosaic, which allows elements of many cultures to be integrated into one. Canada’s culture has many influences because the numerous people who immigrate here are encouraged to keep their culture. These immigrants also teach the people they meet when they move here about their own ways of life. Canada has a culture that is made up of many because of all the immigration, and openness to culture that the country possesses. At different times throughout history, people have immigrated here and left their mark on Canada. One of the first times culture is evident in Canada, the culture is being mixed. Before Canada was even its own country, it was starting to develop its identity. There were many European colonies, British and French being dominant. Since natives were already here, they taught European colonists about their traditions, and how to survive in Canada. In return, the colonists shared their own way of life with the natives. Each group learned from the other and passed down their mixed cultures to new generations. In the 1840s, the Great Famine in Ireland left many without money or food. Around 300,000 immigrants came, mostly settling along the east coast. The Irish culture is present, as you can hear it in the voices of many people living there. Presently, the Asian population has increased. This is evident in the changes in the food we eat. Recently, ethnic food has become more popular as more and more immigrants come and share their cultures, more and more Canadians are accepting them. Politics have a great deal of influence on Canadian culture. When Canada became its own Canadian culture p2country, the identity became separate from the UK. Although there were still British colonies, people were free to start developing their own identity. The Canadian government policy has predominantly been one of peace-keeping. In the 1960s the United States started to become more violent, and Canada remained peaceful, people looked to Canada as a place to get away from violence (“Canada in the 19th”, 2009). Canada is known worldwide for being peaceful, and is recognized for its peacekeeping efforts in war zones. “Canada is of a handful of nations to which the United Nations can regularly turn to obtain peacekeeping advice and expert peacekeepers.” (“Canada & Peacekeeping”, 1999) The word peace keeping was invented by the fourteenth Canadian Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson during the Suez crisis of 1956, for which he was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The geography of Canada affects our culture considerably. Canada is located north of the United States, occupying most of northern America. It is the second largest country in the world. Canadians take pride in this fact. Firstly, the climate affects what we wear. In the north most parts of Canada, thick coats and parkas are a necessity, along with mittens, and thick hats, or toques, in Canadian slang in warmer, southern parts of Canada we must prepare for both cold and warm weather. Also, Canada’s physical geography allows for different industries to be a part of our culture. In Maritime Provinces, the fishing industry has influenced the way society lives. Fishing has become a lifestyle in these places, and it is tradition for many families. Furthermore, Canada’s climate makes for a range of cultural activities. Canadians experience long, cold winters, perfect for playing ice hockey. The origins of hockey are unknown, but Canada has adopted it as its favourite sport. If one thinks of Canadian culture, Canadian Culture p3immediately the thought of hockey is brought to mind. It is said to be the “Canadian pastime” (“History of Hockey”, 2008). Canada has four distinct seasons; summer, spring, fall and winter. Contrary to popular belief, there are sports that Canadians play in all four of these seasons. Lacrosse, for example, is Canada’s national sport, and it is played in summer or fall months. Canadian culture is varied and unique in the fact that it is a cultural mosaic, and integrates different cultures into one, while keeping its base. Since the country of Canada was established it has been the goal of the nation to be peaceful, and bring peace to the world. Canada is known worldwide for its efforts to be peaceful and bring peace to others. The physical geography of Canada also has major influences on the culture, because climate is included in this, Canadians must know how to react appropriately to different weather and know how to keep warm in the cold winters. Immigration to Canada has always been a leading factor in culture because the country accepts culture, and encourages those who immigrate to Canada to keep their culture and share it. Many people have come to Canada in search of a better life, and with them they bring traditions passed down through generations. Canada’s culture is mosaic-like in the sense that so many cultures are able to mesh together, and be integrated in all areas of Canada.