Moving back to Edmonton, Canada, I’ve been readjusting to Edmonton culture. Yes even this northern city has culture. I’ve heard so many people say, and I was a firm believer pre-Europe, that Canada doesn’t have culture, but it does and this is why I’ve started blogging about culture-focused topics on Thursdays.

So living in Edmonton and meeting new people between the ages of 22 and 30, I’ve come to notice a few patterns among the three or more different groups of friends I spend time with. Almost all of the following interests are what I’ve found to be common among them.

 

1. Do Yoga

ICP
This does not look relaxing
Image via tumblr.com

I’ve never done yoga before and only have about a 2% inclination to try it (1% to see what all the hype is about and the other 1% because apparently it’s good for you). But yoga is a big thing for Edmontonians. There is not ONE girl friend of mine who doesn’t do yoga or have at least tried yoga. I’ve also made friends with men who go to yoga weekly, and yes, they are city boys—not that I’m stereotyping and saying that a small-town guy or someone from outside the city wouldn’t do yoga (they wouldn’t, cough). Anyways, if you want to fit in with Edmontonians sign up for a yoga class asap. Buy a mat and get a few complete outfits from Lululemon. In fact buy one of everything you find in the Lululemon store.

 

2. Eat Sushi

sushi-
Image via fittipdaily.com

I’ve heard from my sushi-loving friends that there are hardly any good places to get sushi in Edmonton. I think there may be one decent restaurant somewhere downtown, but how would I know, I don’t eat sushi. I’ve tried sushi once before and I liked it, I just don’t go out of my way to “do sushi” or “get sushi” because one does not go for sushi or eat sushi, one says to another, “hey let’s do sushi on Friday.” Kind of like let’s do lunch, but of the uncooked variety. Trust me if you can bash that sushi place at such-and-such locale, you’ll officially be in the in-crowd of Edmontonians.

3. Ski or Snowboard

This one makes sense. Edmonton is a northern city, its cold, we have about six months give (not take) of winter per year, and it’s about six hours from the Rocky Mountains— a skier/snowboarders haven. For some reason, my family focused on water sports in the summer so I can slalom waterski, but I cannot ski on snow. Well, I haven’t tried snow skiing yet. I’m going to because, you know, I have to fit in with the Edmontonians now that I’m back in Canada. I did try snowboarding three times and failed so horribly that I vowed to never do that to myself again. Skiing is different, you get two of them and you have the support of the poles right?

Snowboarding+Grand+Prix+Training+34oJdzQdCJ3l
Don’t you wanna try this asap!?
Image via www.zimbio.com

Although there is a hierarchy. If you really want to be cool, you will learn to snowboard, skiing is viewed as the second-class option, but it is still accepted because at least you’re on the hill or mountain and not in the hot tub reading a good book and drinking a delicious adult beverage. Wait, why do I want to learn to ski again? Oh right, to fit in. Do that.

 

4. Follow a sport

Edmonton-Oilers-Reebok-Premier-Replica-Home-NHL-Hockey-Jersey-N6923_XL
Moving to Edmonton? You might need one of these.
Image via www.icejerseys.com

I debated on specifying that you should follow hockey, but I think most Edmontonians would be accepting if you followed any sport. But what is very important is that you follow the Edmonton team if you really want to fit right in. If you learn the rules and cheer for the Oilers (hockey), Eskimos (football), Rush (lacrosse), Trappers (baseball), FC Edmonton (soccer), and/or Energy (basketball), you’ll be scoring friends faster than you can say pass the nachos. So my advice would be to follow hockey and cheer for the Oilers as if they were your blood relatives. But if you happen to like one of these other sports, that’s acceptable. What is not acceptable is having any affiliation with any team in Calgary. If you happen to like the Vancouver Canucks or Toronto Maple Leafs because you were born there, lived there for an extended period of time or have relatives or friends who play on those teams, then you may be forgiven, but you will most definitely be bullied (nicely though because we’re Canadians) during the hockey season.

 

5. Talk about the weather

January2011_edmonton
Looks about right.
Image via http://ggnsolutions.com

Apparently Edmontonians talk about the weather so often because the weather fluctuates so much daily and weekly. It can go from a sunny +2C winter day to −30C with windchill the next day. This isn’t a joke, it’s happened this year already. A few times. So if you want to fit in, or make general conversation with potential friends, always go for the weather. You could say things like: “Nice day out today eh?” or “I think I pulled my back out yesterday from shoveling” or “I hope this cold snap doesn’t last much longer. My nostrils were frozen shut the whole way here and I had to breathe through my mouth, which was covered by my scarf so now my scarf is moist.” Except maybe don’t use the word “moist,” people don’t like that word for some reason. Damp would be a viable choice.

What do you think of these five things Edmontonians tend to love? Are there certain things you’ve found to be popular niches in your city? Would you try to like or pretend to like things in order to fit in with people in your hometown or in a new place?

5 thoughts on “How to fit in with Edmontonians: Be interested in these 5 things

  1. Great post, Nicole! Funny how we have to leave our hometown for an extended period of time in order to see it from another perspective. Long Islanders share some of your Edmontonian ways, with a few variations.

    I just deleted five paragraph response to your post…decided this would be a wonderful post to write about Long Island. I’ll be reblogging yours as my intro. Thanks for the inspiration, and I look forward to sharing my five things about Long Island on Monday.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend! 🙂

    1. Haha great idea to use your five paragraph response as a blog post. I’m looking forward to reading it. 🙂 And yes I’ve noticed some new trends have developed since I’ve been away.

  2. Sports and Yoga are universal I believe. The weather is always an easy conversation starter. I have no clue about Sushi, I hate fish much less uncooked fish, but food is always a good way to go. Especially cheesecake or brownies or poutine, IMO. And this being a piece written about Edmonton, how did maple syrup not make the list? Still I’ve always loved moving to new areas and learning the nuances of the area; they can differ from country to country, state to state, city to city, or micro further down to block to block in some extreme circumstances.

    1. I’d have to say yoga doesn’t seem to be a big thing in Europe at all. Well in Belgium it sure isn’t popular. Also people in Belgium don’t tend to have sports or weather as dominant topics of conversation either and sushi would be a specialty meal because there are so many great European options. These are all my opinions based on experience in Brussels, but maybe these 5 Edmontonian interests also apply across Canada and the US.
      .
      Oh and in Alberta, maple syrup isn’t really a big thing. That’s more of an Eastern Canada thing as far as I’ve seen. And you’re right about variations occurring even within blocks of the same city. I would say this list applies mostly to the downtown crowd.

  3. .: Quite a mixed-bag of suggestions there. My thoughts:

    1) Yoga – tried it a few years ago, and coincidentally, tried it again in February. A class called “Yoga for Musicians”, actually, and I’ve been enjoying it. I plan to return to it next Tuesday.

    2) Sushi – er, no.

    3) Skiing-snowbording. I did ski in the 80s, but haven’t since, nor have I snowboarded. Snowboarding looks like it would be great fun. Will you try it?

    4) Definitely follow sports, but my favorite hockey team is the Montreal Canadiens!

    5) Who DOESN’T talk about the weather?

    🙂

Leave a Reply