Author Topic: Homework help, Australian culture  (Read 9330 times)

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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2013, 07:11:48 PM »
Us Aussies are generally laid back and have a tendency to not take ourselves too seriously. For instance, among males the words "old bastard" are usually a term of affection.

I wuold just clarify this with: its the tone in which it is said, more than the words.  Pretty much any sentence can be uttered in affection as well as in dispute.

Yes, tone is everything as is context. Such as using the phrase "Happy birthday, you old bastard" is perfectly acceptable among friends.

Other terms for your amusement:

Cheers = thanks, when used I'm the context of thanking someone. Usually informal,y thanking a friend or colleague.
Bloke =  older male, though the equivalent for females (Sheila) is generally not used except maybe in rural areas.
She'll be right/she'll be apples = all is well or all is going to be well. Similar is "no worries" which is the problem you have is nor worth worrying about.
Fair go = shorthand for "you're not being fair to me and/or someone else and you should be"
Too right = an expression of agreement
Shout = to buy someone a drink and/or meal. It's both a verb "I'll shout you dinner" and a noun "it's your shout"
And my favourite, which is hardly used anymore "flat out like a lizard drinking" which means extremely busy.

Julian

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2013, 08:51:31 PM »
There is (or used to be) an official Order of Old Bastards!   :D

In addition to what everyone else has said, much of which can be fairly regional...

Another Boxing Day tradition is the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.  Living near Hobart, this is huge - many people pour into Hobart and crowd around the waterfront area, as boats trickle in.

We do take our sports seriously, but mostly professional sports types as opposed to high school / college teams.  There are, for example, several forms of football played here - Australian Rules, Rugby Union, Rugby Leage and soccer.  There are national, state and local area competitions.

Holidays tend to be fairly laid back affairs, particularly if the weather is good.  When possible, many of us love to spend time outdoors.  Barbecues are wonderful. 

I tend to find us Aussies are friendly but a little reserved compared to some of our US counterparts - when I was in the US it was not uncommon for total strangers to approach and talk to me, which isn't always the norm here.  I've had the same experience in Aus when on long motorcycle tours but generally it doesn't seem common.  I admit, I'm reserved with strangers, but I can also quite happily chat with strangers without any problem at all.  I must have an approachable face, I'm always the one that people ask for directions...  even in a strange US city (and I could help too!)   

Some of us like to exaggerate a bit too, and tell tall tales, particularly to visitors.  Hence the tales of hoop snakes, drop bears and fangaroos.  But conversely, if you fly to Sydney and think you can bicycle to Uluru in a day, we will try to correct you - it's one thing to make a joke but we don't want anyone to come to grief because of it. 

Distance here is very different - our continental land mass is nearly the same as the USA but we only have 6 states and 2 territories.  So driving from state capital to state capital is a big, big trip.  And if you want to visit Tasmania, it's fly or ferry. 

Food is very different.  Lots of Asian flavours and ingredients have become the norm over the past years.  And our supermarket brands are very different to what's available in the USA.  (I nearly had a conniption in a Walmart - wow, so much stuff, so different, what the heck am I buying??   :o)


KB

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2013, 11:23:12 PM »
I would like to add to the importance of sport in this country - how many other places do you know that have an official public holiday for a horse-race? Yes, the Melbourne Cup means we in Melbourne get the first Tuesday in November off to watch horses go round a track. Needless to state, there is also much drinking...

Pen^2

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2013, 11:26:55 PM »
I would like to add to the importance of sport in this country - how many other places do you know that have an official public holiday for a horse-race? Yes, the Melbourne Cup means we in Melbourne get the first Tuesday in November off to watch horses go round a track. Needless to state, there is also much drinking...

Ooh, yes! I didn't grow up in Melbourne so I didn't have a day off, but we still finished the last lesson early at school so they could wheel out the TV trolley and we'd all sit and watch the horses. I don't even like horse racing, but still enjoyed getting an early finish to the day and hearing all the silly horse names.

katycoo

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2013, 11:48:11 PM »
I would like to add to the importance of sport in this country - how many other places do you know that have an official public holiday for a horse-race? Yes, the Melbourne Cup means we in Melbourne get the first Tuesday in November off to watch horses go round a track. Needless to state, there is also much drinking...

Yes, but its only the actual place of the event that gets the day off.  The rest of us are lucky if we get a long lunch.

gemma156

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2013, 02:14:50 AM »
Being surrounded by water, swimming is an essential part of childhood development.  Too many visitors or newly settlers come to our country, and get into trouble around the water.

In Sydney Bondi beach is a favourite of many overseas visitors, who get themselves into trouble in the surf.  some don't pull through at all.  then there the visitors who get so excited to get a sun tan, they don't apply any sunscreen and end up in hospital with full burns from the sun.

Iris

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2013, 04:17:20 AM »
Being surrounded by water, swimming is an essential part of childhood development.  Too many visitors or newly settlers come to our country, and get into trouble around the water.

In Sydney Bondi beach is a favourite of many overseas visitors, who get themselves into trouble in the surf.  some don't pull through at all.  then there the visitors who get so excited to get a sun tan, they don't apply any sunscreen and end up in hospital with full burns from the sun.

I must say I was watching a US reality show once and there was a woman who couldn't swim. At all. Not even dog paddle. She just got into the water and sunk without the faintest notion of what to do about it. I don't think I've seen that in Australia in a child above about 7. Even kids from isolated areas can usually at least splash about a dam IME. Maybe Tasmania?
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #52 on: April 23, 2013, 04:19:14 AM »
Don't be so sure, it can get hot down there in summer. And dry.

Craftyone

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #53 on: April 23, 2013, 05:54:34 AM »
On road things. We drive on the left hand side of the road. Manual (stick shift) cars are still common, when buying a car most of the low to mid range cars are sold as manuals unless you order an automatic. My Honda Jazz that I bought in 2011 was manual by default, and it wasn't the base model. If I wanted an automatic I would have had to ask specifically for it.

Roundabouts are common here. We drove around the  Hamilton area in Ontario and the Ocean Shores/Aberdeen/Westport areas in Washington State in mid 2011 and we didn't come across many roundabouts. Friends we were visiting in those areas said they weren't common and unpopular.

We seem to have more footpaths (sidewalks) too. That was something we noticed missing. Cul de sacs here won't necessarily have a footpath but it would be unusual not to have one on normal streets/roads.

Public transport is pretty well used (in cities). I've just moved from Perth to Canberra and both places I've used public transport to get to/from work, but both places I've worked in the CBD. Managers above certain levels tend to get car bays and they'll drive. My husband drives but his workplace is just outside the CBD and it's easier for him to drive than catch public transport and there's free staff parking. People will drive into the CBD for work and pay for parking but it tends to be quite dear, which turns people to public transport.

Can't think of anything else to do with transport.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #54 on: April 23, 2013, 07:49:32 AM »
I'll touch on a couple of points no one has raised yet:

1) Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. 89% of our population live in urban areas (thanks Wikipedia). So forget about the stereotype of the sunburnt Aussie who lives on a station in the outback and wrestles crocodiles in his spare time; it's just not  true. 

On a similar note, Australia is overall, quite a homogeneous country. We don't have distinct cultures that relate to a particular region (like America has the Deep South, New England, the Mid West, etc).

Strangely enough though, many Australians spend their entire lives in the same city they were born in. They go to school, university, and work all in the same area. I've heard of Australian adults who don't see any need to make new friends. Why would they? They already have their family, their high school friends, and their uni friends. Who needs any more?! (note: I don't agree with this mindset, but I have heard it several times, from Australians who have never lived anywhere but their home city).


2) Another interesting aspect of Australian culture is the lack of a proper dating culture. In my experience, no one really "casually dates". Asking someone "Would you like to go on a date with me?" is practically unheard of.

What often happens is - two people will like each other, but hedge around each other, too shy (or proud) to make the first move. They might hang out as "friends" for awhile, and drop a bunch of hints and compliments, but they won't actually "date". Until one (or both) finally confess their feelings and BANG! They are now an exclusive couple!

In other words, you're either single (and just friends) or you're in a full-on, committed relationship. There doesn't seem to be any in-between.

Redsoil

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2013, 10:00:34 AM »
*coughs*

Um, some of us "outback Aussies" might disagree with that, Life on Pluto.

Just because you mob o' galahs are urbanites, doesn't mean all Aussies are!

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Bijou

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #56 on: April 23, 2013, 11:37:44 AM »
What an interesting thread!  We should have some of these about other places.  Maybe we could just start some with the name of the country. 
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gemma156

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #57 on: April 23, 2013, 05:25:54 PM »
Don't forget being surrounded by water, swimming is not just considered an enjoyable past time of childhood, but a necessity for all.  Swimming is also incorporated into every year at Primary school to catch the kids falling through the cracks. 

In Sydney the first beach many oversea visitors get access to is Bondi Beach.  Many visitors who get into trouble in the surf can't actually swim and more than a few don't survive. 

Julian

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #58 on: April 23, 2013, 10:42:18 PM »
Iris, there is plenty of swimming here in Tasmania.  Even tiny little towns have heated public pools.  The local creeks and rivers also get a lot of use over summer.  Some days when the weather is right people actually surf in the Derwent River - it is quite wide through the Sandy Bay / Hobart area and gets a very impressive swell up.

MerryCat

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Re: Homework help, Australian culture
« Reply #59 on: April 23, 2013, 10:49:21 PM »
The more I read this thread the more I'm having an urge to head to Australia. It sounds pretty awesome and quirky!