Aussie Pride

Australians commemorate their national flag day annually on September 3. Although it is not a public holiday, the day celebrates the first occasion of when the National Flag was flown in 1901.

I am not a big fan of our flag. In fact, I would align myself to the views of the Bulletin magazine at the time which labelled it as;

a staled réchauffé of the British flag, with no artistic virtue, no national significance… Minds move slowly: and Australia is still Britain’s little boy. What more natural than that he should accept his father’s cut-down garments, – lacking the power to protest, and only dimly realising his will.

I am however, a big fan of Australia. This is my home country. It is a very large country, in fact, the sixth largest country in the world! I have explored quite a lot of this country, but it would still take me weeks before I finished the rest of my explorations!

Australia has a lot to be proud of. For instance, we have our very own National Sport: Australian Football or Aussie Rules. In fact, we are considered a sporting nation. Australians play sport, watch sport, bet on sport and talk sport more than anything else. We are known to excel in various sporting codes internationally including cricket, golf, tennis, hockey, athletics, motorcycling and of course, swimming. In fact, we love our water sports, probably because we are surrounded by water! We have several world champions in diving, swimming, rowing, sailing, surfing, water skiing and wind surfing. A love of sport and betting on it has even led to a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup (a horse race!).

Aside from sport, Australians are also noted for their inventions. The little ol notepad is an Australian invention, as is the ute (or the coupe utility), zinc cream, the Hills Hoist (or the rotary clothesline), the black box flight recorder, the powerboard, the bionic ear, the dual-flush toilet, Wi-Fi and the first underwater PC.

We have also produced some amazing talent such as the cricketer Donald Bradman, rock band INXS, singer and actress Oliva Newton-John, model Elle McPherson, actor Mel Gibson, opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland, painter Ken Done, and not to forget out really famous Australians: Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Tina Arena, Nicole Kidman and Guy Pearce.

We even have our very own Princess; Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, Crown Princess of Denmark!

Australians tend to get on and get along. We are not too worried about anything apart from protecting our identity. We believe in mateship and there is no better way to spend time with our mates than having a barbie (or barbeque), and a few beers. Even better if it is near the beach or pool. Australia has a great climate to enjoy the outdoors – and that is exactly what we like to do.  Mateship is ingrained in Australians. It goes far beyond being a friendship; mateship in Australia means loyalty and equality; it is going out on a limb for that person.

According to an ad in the 1970’s however, being an Australian meant we also loved meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars:

Football, Meatpies, Kangaroos and Holden Cars

But it is just not meatpies and barbies that Australians are known to eat. We are also a big fan of Vegemite (a dark brown food paste made from yeast extract)! This ad sums up Australia’s connection to Vegemite: Vegemite Ad.

Australia in the eyes of a visitor however can be very different. In his book A Sun-burned Country, writer Bill Bryson wrote about Australia, “If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback. . .”

But that’s a foreign writer for you. Aussies are unperturbed. We love our wild island continent where 80% of the plants and animals are unknown anywhere else on earth. We love our flat, dry, coastal plain; our golden soil; our wide open spaces, and we love how remote we are. Our country is not sunburnt, it is sun-kissed! There are places in Australia that are beautiful beyond description. Let’s have a quick look at a few: Aussie Pride

But before you pop over for a visit, there are a few things you are going to have to learn to say. G’day is number one… because every day is a “Good Day” in Oz. I have listed some others below:

Bloke:An Australian male.

Mate: A friend, usually a male. Often combined with G’day.

Bottle-o: Liquor store.

Dunny: Toilet, usually outside.

Fair Dinkum: True or genuine

Maccas: McDonalds

Outback: Australia’s country towns and areas.

XXXX (or 4x): Brand of beer.

Yes, we talk very different. We tend to have an upward inflexion at the end of a sentence, making it sound more like a question rather than a statement and a twangy sound to our voice. Australian comedian Adam Hills has a great skit on our accent here.

But, if you are bothered by our accent, then you are probably not going to like our sharks, spiders, snakes, box jellyfish, crocodiles, dingos, bull ants, cane toads or our biggest deadly animal; the white drunken male.