Author Topic: Homework help, Australian culture  (Read 8751 times)

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Iris

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 01:00:14 AM »
Oh, I forgot that the seasons are opposite of what I'm used to. Guess you're not really dreaming of a white Christmas then :)

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the insight :) talking to real, live people is a lot more enlightening than the Google. I meant to ask my BIL about his experiences since he's currently living in Frankston (?) on the coast, serving a mission for our church, but he doesn't have much time at the computer to respond to email.

Would people in Melbourne agree with his assessment that many seem to be atheists? Or is his view colored since virtually all of his interactions are focused on religion?


His view may be coloured because we *really* don't enjoy being bothered by religious people. If you want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti monster or whatever then that's fine and we support your right to do so, but if you knock on our door to tell us about it or even try and strike up a conversation about it in public we will want you to go away very quickly indeed. This goes both ways - we don't want to be bothered by militant atheists either. "Believe what you want and leave me alone" could be a summary of many, many people's attitude to religion.

Active evangilising (or whatever the correct word is) is roughly viewed on the same level as telemarketing by many people.


Trackie dacks and ugg boots are important with a flanno (flannelette shirt) and driving a ute (utility vehicle, your pick-ups). 

Actually I'd say this falls into the sterotype category...  moreso if you added a pack of winnie red rolled into the sleeve...

Flannies, uggs and trackies are all, IMO, inside wear.

Nobody I know owns a flanno. And trackie dacks are for walking the dog in winter and ugg boots are slippers. The only people I know who drive utes are either tradies or foolish young men who drive way too fast. Easily distinguishable because the foolish young men *polish* their ute.
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dawnfire

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2013, 01:24:27 AM »
1.  Remember everything is reversed - Christmas is in summer, our long school break is over summer.  BBQs or cold meats are more accepted by some for Christmas.  The Easter Bilby anyone????

My Dad is ALL ABOUT the Easter Bilby.

We don't always throw a shrimp on the barbie.

We don't even call them shirmp!  They're always prawns!

What's an Easter Bilby? Is that like the bunny?

A bilby  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrotis)is a native marsupial. It is kinda mouse like with long ears. In recent years at Easter time there will be for sale chocolate bilbys  (http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.chocablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/pink-lady-bilby.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.chocablog.com/reviews/pink-lady-chocolate-bilby/&h=548&w=600&sz=129&tbnid=3KIijM55y5T6wM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=99&zoom=1&usg=__aIoulvcsJWZha9Vu6HjyqHpCkYM=&docid=kfE9zrfpDwoV3M&sa=X&ei=y8h0UdT4Hu-SiQeLyoCoBw&ved=0CEAQ9QEwAw&dur=2605 ) with part of the sale going to a fund to help save them.  This is because some people see rabbits as pests (you can't keep rabbits as pets in one state) and in the past we've has rabbit plagues which decimate agriculture.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 01:37:32 AM by dawnfire »

kareng57

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2013, 01:28:53 AM »
Note - this is a big country, all answers from the point of view of a relatively urban New South Welshperson.

New Year's Eve is the same - fireworks and staying up until (at least) midnight. It is worth noting that fireworks are banned for personal use in many states so fireworks are usually big, public displays. The Sydney Harbour fireworks are quite well known (and heaps of fun if you don't mind the transport nightmare) but there are smaller versions all around. There are usually earlier (around 9pm) fireworks so families with children can go home early if they choose and then bigger ones at midnight.

Christmas is in the middle of summer so more and more people are doing without the roast or having it cold and eating outside. We usually get together with family on Christmas day. There are a few Australian Christmas Carols (I've never known a kid that didn't love 6 White Boomers) but mostly it's basically a traditional European Christmas adapted for the heat.

Easter is fairly standard.

Australia Day most people have bbqs with friends. It's been harder to have picnics etc in the last few years because it's gaining popularity among bogans as a chance to drink themselves stupid and make nuisance of themselves  ::). There are often fireworks as well.

I don't think you'd find an Australian stereotype that doesn't make SOMEONE roll their eyes, but it may be true for someone else. It's a big country and there are all types, from the broooooaaad accent RM Williams wearing country farmer to the have-never-been-outside-a-capital-city types. Important facts: there are no kangaroos in cities and drop bears aren't real  ;)

Cohabiting or marriage is fine, no-one cares much. Our current prime minister is a cohabiting atheist and hardly anyone cares.

Most migrants settle in the capital cities, often Sydney, which I think is actually really sad because it a) allows a certain section of society to remain what I have heard described as 'comfortably racist' and b) it means that I have a limited choice in quality ethnic foods except for when I am down in Sydney, although both situations are slowly improving.

The only big difference that I think I have noticed with weddings is that it is quite acceptable here with church weddings to 'go and see' the wedding. I've heard ehellions describing rude people turning up at the church uninvited whereas here that is perfectly okay. One friend of mine whose father was the organist at our local church provided champagne and light snacks in the church ground after the wedding because they (correctly) knew ALL the parishioners would want to see the organist's daughter get married. This is not at all considered A or B list etc and was in reality considered a nice touch.

I'm sure there's more but that's probably a good start. Feel free to ask other questions.

Oops, MsMarjorie posted while I was typing. Sorry for any repetitions. I disagree with the politics though. The current federal election is getting fairly heated around here and the way most people discuss it politely is to change the subject :) In the past though I would have agreed.


A bit of an aside - I once had a co-worker who had grown up in Australia with British immigrant-parents. Every Christmas, her mom would be toiling in the hot kitchen with a goose or turkey.  And all of her friends would have been having a great barbeque.

Her mom would call every few minutes "why isn't anyone helping me?" - well, they did, every few minutes, but they wondered why they couldn't have a nice barbeque instead.


Pen^2

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2013, 01:30:32 AM »
Oh, I forgot that the seasons are opposite of what I'm used to. Guess you're not really dreaming of a white Christmas then :)

Thank you so much, I really appreciate the insight :) talking to real, live people is a lot more enlightening than the Google. I meant to ask my BIL about his experiences since he's currently living in Frankston (?) on the coast, serving a mission for our church, but he doesn't have much time at the computer to respond to email.

Would people in Melbourne agree with his assessment that many seem to be atheists? Or is his view colored since virtually all of his interactions are focused on religion?


His view may be coloured because we *really* don't enjoy being bothered by religious people. If you want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti monster or whatever then that's fine and we support your right to do so, but if you knock on our door to tell us about it or even try and strike up a conversation about it in public we will want you to go away very quickly indeed. This goes both ways - we don't want to be bothered by militant atheists either. "Believe what you want and leave me alone" could be a summary of many, many people's attitude to religion.

Active evangilising (or whatever the correct word is) is roughly viewed on the same level as telemarketing by many people.

This is exactly right. Most people just have no strong feelings about it at all. In the US, for example, people might mention their church in passing, but this would be a conversational point of interest in Australia, since it is quite uncommon to go to church or really be affiliated with one at all. According to the Bureau of Stats, under 15% of Australians go to church once a week or more. A lot of people say they're Christian, but don't adhere to many or any of the teachings specifically and never go to church, and just vaguely think there might be a god up there somewhere. It's just not a very religious place. We're too laid-back to take many things seriously.

Maybe the closest thing in other countries is politics: it's very rude to knock on someone's door, approach a stranger, or even meet with a friend and start talking to them about why voting for so-and-so is the best idea. Australians feel the same way about religion. Few people feel strongly about it, but like anyone else, it's perceived as very rude to have someone tell you all about why you should think or act in a certain way.

Growing up, I always found it a bit odd that on American sit-coms and the like, there was a noticeable (to an Australian) undercurrent of religion: "bless you for helping us", Christmas miracles, it being normal to go to church all the time, and so on. When I travelled in America a few years ago, I also found it odd that people just assumed I was christian, would mention their church in normal conversation (like politics, this is generally too private for Australians to talk about to most others), and would state matter-of-factly that god had helped them do various things. I've always found it the strongest point of difference between Australian and American culture, but maybe that's just me.

Oh, and shrimp on the barbie? That's a huge no-no. We don't call them shrimp. I've had a lot of people say this to me expecting me to laugh or something. That and compliments on how good my English is  ::)

katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2013, 01:45:38 AM »

This is exactly right. Most people just have no strong feelings about it at all. In the US, for example, people might mention their church in passing, but this would be a conversational point of interest in Australia, since it is quite uncommon to go to church or really be affiliated with one at all. According to the Bureau of Stats, under 15% of Australians go to church once a week or more. A lot of people say they're Christian, but don't adhere to many or any of the teachings specifically and never go to church, and just vaguely think there might be a god up there somewhere. It's just not a very religious place. We're too laid-back to take many things seriously.

Maybe the closest thing in other countries is politics: it's very rude to knock on someone's door, approach a stranger, or even meet with a friend and start talking to them about why voting for so-and-so is the best idea. Australians feel the same way about religion. Few people feel strongly about it, but like anyone else, it's perceived as very rude to have someone tell you all about why you should think or act in a certain way.

Growing up, I always found it a bit odd that on American sit-coms and the like, there was a noticeable (to an Australian) undercurrent of religion: "bless you for helping us", Christmas miracles, it being normal to go to church all the time, and so on. When I travelled in America a few years ago, I also found it odd that people just assumed I was christian, would mention their church in normal conversation (like politics, this is generally too private for Australians to talk about to most others), and would state matter-of-factly that god had helped them do various things. I've always found it the strongest point of difference between Australian and American culture, but maybe that's just me.

Hmm, I don't quite agree.  Re bolding:

1. That statistic is probably correct, but I think that the number of currently practising religious persons is higher.  More like 30%.  I am Christian and teach Sunday School, and I still don't get to church every week.  And i never go more than once. 

2. I don't think its too private for discussion at all - providing its just discussion, and there's no sales pitch attached.


Maude

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2013, 01:46:25 AM »
As a PP mentioned,there is a HUGE drinking culture.When guests arrive you do not offer coffee or tea,you simply hand them a "stubbie"(a beer).
Men rarely do housework or if they do they expect payment later that night!
A large percentage of the population is overweight or obese.
There are VERY MANY old people(aged 80 -90yrs).
Reality shows are VERY popular.Almost any verb you can think of has its own reality show...cooking dancing singing.
Tradespeople earn more than teachers or politicians or some doctors.

figee

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2013, 01:53:09 AM »

Trackie dacks and ugg boots are important with a flanno (flannelette shirt) and driving a ute (utility vehicle, your pick-ups). 

Actually I'd say this falls into the sterotype category...  moreso if you added a pack of winnie red rolled into the sleeve...

Flannies, uggs and trackies are all, IMO, inside wear.




Nobody I know owns a flanno. And trackie dacks are for walking the dog in winter and ugg boots are slippers. The only people I know who drive utes are either tradies or foolish young men who drive way too fast. Easily distinguishable because the foolish young men *polish* their ute.

I know people who do all of the above, and who also polish their utes.......  And I own all of the above and have worn them all in public.  It's also more about the whole shortening or lengthening of words and names:

Davo
Deano
Mick
Sammy
Bluey
Simmo

Bluenomi

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2013, 01:55:15 AM »
As a PP mentioned,there is a HUGE drinking culture.When guests arrive you do not offer coffee or tea,you simply hand them a "stubbie"(a beer).
Men rarely do housework or if they do they expect payment later that night!
A large percentage of the population is overweight or obese.
There are VERY MANY old people(aged 80 -90yrs).
Reality shows are VERY popular.Almost any verb you can think of has its own reality show...cooking dancing singing.
Tradespeople earn more than teachers or politicians or some doctors.

I disagree with pretty much all of those, talk about stereotypes!

katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2013, 01:57:18 AM »
As a PP mentioned,there is a HUGE drinking culture.When guests arrive you do not offer coffee or tea,you simply hand them a "stubbie"(a beer). I disagree with this.  It depends on numerous things - nature of guests and event, time of day ...  personally I offer 'a drink' and list a few options.  Alcohol beverages may or may not be included.  Also, for the USAians, a stubbie isn't just any old beer.  Its a 375ml bottle or a shortneck.
Men rarely do housework or if they do they expect payment later that night! I must defend my own husband here.  I think this is a generational thing which is steadily changing.  Particularly as the number of dual income households increases.
A large percentage of the population is overweight or obese.
There are VERY MANY old people(aged 80 -90yrs).  You think?  More than anywhere else first world?
Reality shows are VERY popular.Almost any verb you can think of has its own reality show...cooking dancing singing.
Tradespeople earn more than teachers or politicians or some doctors. Potentially, but most certainly not definitely.  the construction industry as a whole is in very dire straits right now.

kitkatswing

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2013, 02:24:04 AM »
Adding my 2c in (victorian here)

How are holidays celebrated?
Christmas: With our family its usually a big Christmas lunch, followed by snoozing on the couch!
Boxing day is either oone of the following, SHOPPING!! Boxing day sales are freakin awesome and a madhouse usually... Or having a BBQ withing the Boxing Day Test start (Cricket!!!)
Easter: 4 day weekend, no real celebration as such.
...are there any Australian specific traditions?

What do you do for Australia Day? : Most of the time have friends around for a BBQ.

What stereotypes about Australia make Australians roll their eyes? I would say Kangaroos/koalas in the backyard but this actually happens at my parents place!!

What is more commonly accepted/expected, cohabitation or marriage? To be honest, both are excepted these days.

What wedding traditions are there? Hens/bucks nights definitly.,


anything else that should be included? Not that I can think of right at this moment..


katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2013, 02:30:00 AM »
Boxing day is either oone of the following, SHOPPING!! Boxing day sales are freakin awesome and a madhouse usually... Or having a BBQ withing the Boxing Day Test start (Cricket!!!)

Every year I forget that its only the big inner city department stores.  Everything else is closed!  Even supermarkets are closed!

Iris

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #26 on: April 22, 2013, 02:32:41 AM »
As a PP mentioned,there is a HUGE drinking culture.When guests arrive you do not offer coffee or tea,you simply hand them a "stubbie"(a beer).
Men rarely do housework or if they do they expect payment later that night!
A large percentage of the population is overweight or obese.
There are VERY MANY old people(aged 80 -90yrs).
Reality shows are VERY popular.Almost any verb you can think of has its own reality show...cooking dancing singing.
Tradespeople earn more than teachers or politicians or some doctors.

I disagree with pretty much all of those, talk about stereotypes!

Me too. When I lived in a country town with mostly single income families it was certainly a case of more traditional gender roles, but everywhere else I've lived housework is shared a bit more evenly - not completely evenly because this is still changing but more and more so.

I tend not to offer people alcohol unless its specifically a party or after about 6-7ish in the evening. That's why it's called beer (or wine) o'clock  :) I do think my social group at least tends to associate socialising with drinking a bit too much so for example you can get a drink at the movies now if you pay for gold class, ten pin bowling alleys usually have a bar these days etc so it is a bit pervasive sometimes.

There are too many overweight people sadly. As we've moved to more sedentary lifestyles our eating habits haven't kept up.

I don't actually know what tradies earn since it would be rude to ask, but my neighbourhood (so roughly similar property values etc) is populated largely by teachers, nurses, shiftworkers and tradies so I would have assumed roughly similar incomes.
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AnnaT

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2013, 03:00:33 AM »
I know that we have a lot of Australian ehellions, so I figured this is as good a resource as any for an assignment. I need to write a paper on Australian culture. So, what interesting things are there that are different in Australia vs. United States?

*  We do tend to follow the US - a lot of our tv is from the States.
*  Security is not quite so strict as it is in the States - you don't get fingerprinted just to come into the country.
*  We do centimetres/kilometers rather than inches/miles
*  People tend to have a 'gap year' between High School and University.  A lot of those people tender to do an "O/E" (overseas experience - that's what NZ'ers call it but both countries do it) where the younger generation go overseas (normally to England or Europe) for a year or two (on a working visa) to see the world.  We are very far from everywhere here - its 24 hours to Europe and 14 to the West Coast of America so if you make the effort - you see as much of it as you can!
*  Australia is very white, at least on television - I think Neighbours has finally got a non-white family on the show but its been on for the past 25 years or so.  We do pride ourselves on being multi-cultural and I for one love the diversity of our population - it just doesn't show up in our mainstream media.


How are holidays celebrated?
In the US we stay up all night on New Year's Eve, then ring in the New Year at midnight. There are fireworks and drinking associated with the holiday. Is it different in Australia?
Christmas, Easter...are there any Australian specific traditions?
* Christmas in my family is a seafood breakfast (scallops, oysters, prawns, fish) with champagne followed by a bbq style lunch around 3-ish (steaks, cold ham, salads, sausages, prawns, etc followed by a full on dessert buffet - berries, pavlova, trifle, ice cream, brandy snaps, etc).
*  NYE we come and hang out by the Sydney Harbour for the day to watch the 9pm and midnight fireworks (over $6m dollars worth of fireworks go up in "ooo aaah" prettiness)
*  NYD is not such a big deal - most people sleep off the night before

What do you do for Australia Day?
*  Australia Day tends to be the day you see most patriotism (not that we have a lot) - sometimes its not very nice patriotism (we can get the "go back where you came from" element happening).  Lots of swimming, bbq's and beer.

What stereotypes about Australia make Australians roll their eyes?
*  There is no bridge between Australia and New Zealand
*  "Yes I live in Sydney, no I don't know Tim Smith.  You do know Sydney has over 6 million people in it don't you?"  Australia reached a milestone of 23 million people this week.  It is a large country but we mainly live on the fringes (the centre is pretty inhospitable if you're not prepared).
*  I don't drink beer or wear corks on my hat
*  Cockatoos are very pretty but get a mob of them together and the sound is horrendous (so no, its not that lucky to live next to such beautiful wildlife)

What is more commonly accepted/expected, cohabitation or marriage?

Either is accepted - it tends to be more cohabitation when you're younger and marriage as you get more mature.

What wedding traditions are there? I seem to recall that showers are not as common, and that in lieu of bachelor/bachelorette parties there are hen/stag nights where everyone that honestly sound similar to the US counterparts.

Seems similar but not so over the top.  Unless you come from a traditional European background, most couples pay for their own weddings (with help from both sets of parents).


anything else that should be included?

*  We drive on the opposite side of the road to you
*  Seasons are opposite so our school year runs February to early December (instead of June-July or however it is in the States)
*  It does snow here but only in the Alpine regions
*  Melbourne is very cosmopolitan
*  Our nation's capital is a man-made construct - it was designed to be our capital when it was first built
*  I think we feel the same for our military as you do for yours (ie, not sure if the war is right but will defend our military men and women very strongly)
*  We have a female prime minister
*  We do not have gay marriage (although NZ just passed a bill so hopefully soon)
*  "I love a sunburnt country" is a great poem which is very evocative of Australia: http://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/mycountry.htm

"I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!



Thanks to all, I would much rather talk to actual people than google everything. It gives a better picture 

amandaelizabeth

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2013, 03:40:03 AM »
Twiggy they are pulling your leg, drop bears are not a myth they really exist.   And in the middle of the city too.  Why else would the ozzie cricketers put toothpaste on their noses if it wasn't for their fear of drop bears.  I noticed that they were so scared that they kept it on over here too. 

The reason we don't do large fireworks on New Years Eve,  even though We are first in the world, that it usually they signal the start of a rain storm of drought breaking proportions.  As Australia seems to have cornered the local market in droughts we let them have the fireworks too.  We are nice like that. 

StarFaerie

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2013, 04:14:00 AM »
I'm going to address a few things. These are my opinion only and other Aussies will differ greatly regarding these.

Flannies, ugg boots, trackie daks, Commodore or Falcon utes? It's the uniform of the Bogan and can be seen at the shops in my boyfriend's suburb on any day.

Kangaroos down the main street. Depends on where you live. I live in Canberra, the capital city which has 350,000 inhabitants, and about 10 years ago friends and I saw a roo hopping down Northbourne Ave (our main street). We yelled out the car window at it to stop being such a stereotype and then rang the rangers to come rescue it. My house is near an open space and there are roos there all the time and I have to drive carefully on my morning commute just in case one decides to hope across the road. I live 10 minutes from the city centre.

I don't think we have as many dangerous creatures as some seem to think or as we like to spruik. I haven't seen a venomous snake for about 15 years and I see about 5 redbacks a year, but a quick spray of insect killer and they're taken care of. I think any big mostly empty country will have a lot of dangerous wild animals. After all the US has Rattlesnakes and bears! (How can you not be terrified of bears?)

Our capital city is actually based on Washington DC and was designed by American Architects Walter and Marion Burley-Griffin.

Our constitution was based on the US constitution, with some substantial differences.

Atheism doesn't have the stigma here that it seems to have in the States. And religion isn't a big thing. People really don't care about what religion you are or are not. I don't know the religious beliefs of any of my coworkers.

Racism is accepted to a point but when it becomes overt you'll find people speaking out against it.

Picking an Australian culture or traditions can be quite difficult as we are quite a young country with a large number of new immigrants, so the traditions for different events and holidays differs depending on your family, where you live and your cultural origins. My Christmas is more of a Dutch Christmas migrated to Summer as my Mum is Dutch. The ex husband's family had a traditional English Christmas and my BF's Christmas is just a big family gathering with no set food traditions.

And for alcohol, personally, I drink beer but not VB or Fosters and I quite enjoy your Sierra Nevada beers. The US certainly knows how to bring the hops. Our generic beers are higher in alcohol than the US ones.

One thing I hadn't noticed mentioned is swearing. Swearing is quite a casual thing here IMHO and pretty much the occasional swear word in conversation is barely noticed. I work in a very conservative office and I've heard just about everyone come out with the F-word when something has gone wrong or they got hurt. They find me very quaint because I tend to say darn, gosh and bother.

We are a rich country, especially comparatively after the GFC as we rode it out very well due to our mining sector.

We have a more socialist outlook than the US. Our healthcare is government subsidised, we have a strong welfare safety net and tertiary education is cheap and the student contribution paid through low interest loans once we start working. (And I hate that the spell check thinks subsidised is spelled with a z)

We also don't have quite the military culture that the US seems to. Speaking bad about the military or the wars we are in is not a big thing in my circle or workplace or even in the press, except around Anzac day.

We also don't seem to have an Australian version of "American exceptionalism". It's OK for us and even our politicians to believe Australia is not the best country on earth.

The Southern Cross is often seen as the symbol of the country (Sorry NZ and all other Southern Hemisphere countries. Somehow we coopted it). If you have it tattooed on you though, you may be a bogan.

And this makes my hair stand on end for love of my beautiful country

"I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!"

(Quoted from AnnaT)