I'm reminded of one time back in high school when we were discussing a poem by Margaret Atwood. The English teacher mentioned as an aside, "who knows where Margaret Atwood is from," thinking it would be a good segue. Silence. "I'll give you a hint: she's writing in her native language."
- "No." There was another pregnant silence and before I could hazard a guess on New Zealand, he gave up and said, "Canada! Margaret Atwood is perhaps the most famous Canadian poet!"
So help me, my thought at the time was actually, "Ohhh. Canada... they exist too."
The point of the story is, just because you speak English doesn't make it any more likely we'll remember that your country exists. Sorry, Canada. If it helps at all I'm in Texas, so you're not exactly foremost in our thoughts.
To many Americans Canada isn't so much a country as it is a slightly more independent territory or protectorate that we forgot to annex and declare a state. Or they think of it as A part neglected part of Great Brittan that England chooses to ignore (kind of like scottland but farther way and with less invested in it) a or a colony of maple syrup fetishists that no one wants to claim. I say that as a Canadian-American duel citizen.
Also (No offense intended but) I am surprised that you thought of New Zealand at all. Most people either think it as "middle earth" or of it simply as "the one that is not Australia".