Having been all over the world, Adam Barralet has learned a lot of valuable tips along the way. Each week he takes us to a different country and offers his tips on what to expect and what manners are acceptable. After taking us around the world to some great destinations, today he takes us to his homeland:
As an Australian I thought it’s about time I shared of my home knowledge about etiquette Down Under. Australians are known for their relaxed and care free manner but there are still some do’s and don’ts to consider when visiting the world’s biggest island.
When meeting an Australian for the first time, you may be greeted with the famous “G’day mate” regardless of your gender along with a firm handshake. Visitors should be careful of over using the phrase themselves as it can sound slightly patronizing. In conversation avoid bragging about yourself as you are likely to be quickly knocked down with some sarcastic humour. If you are willing to be part of a light hearted but opinionated conversation you’ll be just fine. Don’t take offence if you are the centre of a joke, everyone will have their turn at being playfully teased and the ability to be able to laugh at yourself ensure you quickly fit in.
In past weeks you would have noticed how many countries have a small personal space and are very tactile. Australians tend to be the opposite, especially men, so when unsure, take the lead from your hosts.
Australians love a drink and the tradition is generally everyone takes turns and buying everyone in the group a drink. When it is your turn, it is called “your shout”. Due to the weather much dining is done outside and if you are invited to someone’s house, it will quite often be for a barbeque. Always arrive with your fair share of drinks and if they don’t get finished, leave them there. When food is served, no need to wait your turn, it’s everyman for himself. If attending a more formal dinner party a good wine is a wise choice.
Other things you may not be used to is that Australians ride in the front seat in the taxi, tipping is rarely expected feel free to use first names even from the initial meeting.
If I can offer you some further tips so you don’t look like a total “galah” (stupid person), here are some common Australian slang that you may experience during your visit:
Stuffed: either broken or exhausted
Blue: a fight
Bluey: someone with red hair
Porky: a lie or mistruth
Root: refers to either the underground part of a plant or having sex
Arvo: this afternoon
Ankle bitter: a small child
Cactus: dead or broken
Servo: Petrol/fuel station
Wuss: cowardly person
Yobbo or feral: an uncouth person