Intermediate Conversation: Canadian Social Norms

Canadian Social Norms: How different are they in your country?


Are they acceptable or unacceptable?

  • Holding the door for people.
  • Letting someone with only one or two items go ahead of you when you have a whole basketful (at the supermarket).
  • Holding the elevator for people.
  • Not yelling across public places to get someone’s attention.
  • Giving up your seat or taxi for the elderly, disabled, pregnant women, or mothers.
  • Saying “Bless you” when someone sneezes.
  • Not answering your phone when you’re out on a date.
  • Not talking/texting in a movie theater.
  • Changing and washing your bed sheets every week.
  • Brushing your teeth three times a day.
  • Not burping in public.
  • Not picking your nose in public.
  • Washing your hands after using the toilet.
  • Leaving tips.
  • Not talking with your mouth full of food.
  • Not passing gas in public.
  • Walking on the right side (your right) of a crowded hallway, sidewalk, stairs, etc.
  • Waiting for everyone to exit the subway/bus before getting on.
  • Not spanking your kids.
  • Taking off your shoes in the house/other people’s houses.
  • Accepting a gift when you have nothing to give in return.
  • Opening gifts on the spot.
  • Thanking people for gifts even if you don’t like them.
  • Re-gifting.
  • Saying sorry for almost everything.

What are some social norms in your country?