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bulletBeing Aussie
bulletGeography
bulletLanguage
bulletFood
bulletSports
bulletWines
bullet

But Wait There's Still More...

                                                                

 

Map courtesy of Australian Tourism Commission

Being Aussie

Since spending time living overseas I have become extremely conscious of the uniqueness of our Australian culture. So many of the things we take for granted are unheard of outside of our country and even our language has evolved into a unique style of our own. 

Australia as a nation was of course created by my ancestors, the Poms, after they had slaughtered the natural owners of the land, the Aboriginal people. As a result the country has always had a distinctive British flavour. However this has changed dramatically, especially in my lifetime. The influx of immigrants from all over the world and especially Asia has given Australia a much more cosmopolitan flavour and places like Darwin in the north of the country and many inner city areas elsewhere have a distinctly Asian atmosphere. 

The influence of America should also not be discounted. Ever since they helped us out in that little stoush called the Battle of the Coral Sea, Australia and the US have had a close relationship, at least from our perspective. Of course the whole world is being Americanised through Coca-cola, McDonalds, movies and TV and Australia too has succumbed to this phenomenon. 

However somewhere in this great melting pot called Aus a culture has developed which is distinctly our own. The bronzed Aussie, the digger, the laid back character who calls you 'mate' and dismisses the most serious problem with a 'No worries'. The pages that follow will hopefully give you some insight into my country.

Geography

Australia is made up of six states and two territories. Everyone has heard of Sydney and most also know of Melbourne, the Great Barrier Reef and maybe Ayers Rock/Uluru. However the country has much more to offer than just these places. Its also a lot bigger than many people think, being roughly the same size as the continental USA. On my links page you will find many sites that will give you more information about the country. On my site I am concentrating mostly on South Australia and its capital, Adelaide.

Language

There are surprising number of words and phrases that are all our own and some we share with the Brits. I have started a list at work - Aussie words of the month - and every time I come out with something that the Seppos don't understand (like Seppo ;-) I add it to the list. Go here to see the words I've got so far, or for a more exhaustive rundown of Aussie slang, try out these pages:

bulletAussie Dictionary
bulletAussie Slang

Food

Typical Australian food is NOT what you get at Outback Steakhouse!!! The first time I saw the equivalent of a 'Bloomin' Onion' was at a Lone Star Steakhouse in Aus. Aussies - take a look at the Outback Steakhouse site if you want a good laugh.

Australian food used to be pretty standard fare - the old 'meat and three (if you're lucky) veg'. In recent times the major influences on our cuisine have come from Asia, especially Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and these have had a revolutionary effect. Many of our most talented chefs have been instrumental in developing the so-called 'Pacific Rim' cuisine - a veritable palatal east meets west. As a result an important part of our culture is now this simple philosophy of what makes a good evening - good food, good wine, good company. Check out the Australian Best Restaurants Guide to give you a sample of what our top restaurants have to offer.

There is some standard Aussie fare though that remains deeply ingrained in the popular consciousness. A few of the more famous and/or bizarre items are:

bulletThe meat pie - what you eat at the footy. I found it described on one site as '...made from a concoction of meat, gravy and a soggy pastry case'. That's about right too. It is not to be confused with the Pie Floater (or as one website puts it 'Cibus Disgustus Adelaidium'), a South Australian specialty, which is a pie floating in a sea of split pea soup (or 'mushy peas' as the Poms would call it). Yes it IS disgusting as it sounds.
bulletVegemite - black salty goo that you spread on toast and is responsible for making all Aussie kids grow up big and strong. As fans say 'Vegemite - not just a yeast extract, its a lifestyle!' Me - I hate the stuff!

You can find some traditional Aussie recipes at the G'day and Good Eating site.

Sports

Australians are sports mad and not only do we beat ourselves into a patriotic fervour whenever one of teams makes good overseas, we also have a few home grown sports that are huge like Australian Rules Football. Over the past couple of years we won world championships in such diverse sports as netball, rugby, cricket, tennis (Davis Cup anyway), surfing, triathlon and hockey and many others. And of course how can we forget the pinnacle of Aussie sporting achievement - our performance both on and off the field at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Go to my sports pages to find out more about Aussie sports and sporting champs.

Wines

Australia produces top quality wines that are being recognised in all corners of the globe. There are many fine wine areas including several in South Australia. I grew up surrounded by vines as the property my Dad co-owned with his brother in the Southern Vales region produced mostly grapes for red wines . If you want to know more, visit:

bullet The Australian Wine Centre on line
bulletWine Australia

But Wait There's Still More...

The above are just some of the things that make Australia what it is. Visit my other pages to learn more.

Aussie Links South Australia Aussie Words ANZAC Day

Of for an alternative view check out this hilarious Visitors Guide to Oz

Other pages on this web page with information about Australia include:

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Kangarilla - most important town in Aus!

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Flying Doc - links to Australian Military sites

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This Sporting Life - Sydney Olympic 2000 links
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Netball

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Foot - Aussie Rules of course

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Cricket - my favourite Aussie Captains

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Swimmers - Shane, Susie and Dawn

 

 

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Revised:24/09/02