The United States of America is the dominant part of North America. Its culture and heritage is rich and varied, and it has influenced many different cultures around the world, and within the North American continent as well. Apart from the U.S., Canada is also major part of North America, and there are subtle but specific differences in its culture from the American culture.
THE CULTURE AND HERITAGE OF THE UNITED STATES
The American culture is great confluence of its original native culture and a strong European influence in many parts of the country. This merger of inspirations leads to a unique and popular culture that is the American culture.
Be it the field of arts, architecture, music, literature, films, and poetry, America’s culture leads the world trends in many ways, and is highly freedom-oriented and cosmopolitan in nature. Americans are very enthusiastic people who have a great zest for life. As a result, their culture has a lot of color and variety and openness about it.
LITERATURE: Writers such as Thoreau, Edgar Poe, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Ernest Hemingway were born in America and have left a great wealth of original American literature. America has produced 11 Noble Laureates in the field of literature till date.
DANCE: America offers wonderful dance forms such Rock and Roll which is probably the world’s most popular dance now. There is also a modernistic “Square Dance” that is the official state dance in many American states.
THEATER: Broadway theater in New York City is arguably the world’s most renowned international stage. Musical theater is the most popular form in the U.S. today.
FASHION: Levi Strauss is one of the most recognized names in the world for blue denim jeans that were developed in the United States. There are top designer labels in the U.S. that are famous among the elite classes all over the world.
THE CULTURE AND HERITAGE OF CANADA
The Canadian culture has been traditionally influenced by British and French cultures. The second major influence has been its own native aborigines, whose ancient customs and traditions have found their way into the modern Canadian society. The third direct influence is its next-door neighbor, the United States of America, which is a cultural powerhouse that has infiltrated all societies, including Canada.
LITERATURE: The Canadian literature is primarily in two languages, French and English. But combined together, it has emerged into a unique Canadian literature.
THEATER: Canada offers some very spectacular theater festivals such as the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival, both in Ontario.
ART: The field of arts began to prosper in Canada from the early 20th century onwards. It saw its best phase of growth after the end of second world war. Today Canada is home to a number of good art institutions around the country.
MUSIC: Canada has its own styles of music that includes the European styles and the Franco-Celtic styles. The government of Canada has taken several measures to foster the development of music in the country.