If you don’t already know I live in Australia, SURPRISE!!! to those who don’t. I read a post from a friend about Australia’s National identity with concern that it was losing its uniqueness. Coming from another country and being here for close to 18 years. I have seen a huge amount of change not always driven by the everyday Aussie. But I have seen a change none-the-less.
I was concerned that my friend might be right on some of her points to the changes she is seeing as a life long Aussie. I was wanting to see if the two of our ideas coincided with each other. So without further ado here is her list.
As most people in the world first look at Australia they really only know what they see in films. Crocodile Dundee first comes to mind then a few others here and there. So in interest I think I am going to go through her list and explain each point and then see if Australia is in deed losing its identity. Maybe try to educate those outside of Australia.
I am going to start with one of my all time favorites Mateship. No this is not a boat.. But it is a very unique bond that most Australian friends have with each other. But then it also goes far beyond that you don’t always have to be friends to lend a helping hand and that also is a part of this wonderful thing called Mateship. It is something I have a hard time describing in simple terms. So I will use an example I have this wonderful friend who through thick and thin has been a True blue mate. When we had to start over he offered to give us some funds to do so. But in my years of being in Australia, I have learned and loved a side of them that is putting in the hard work instead of looking for the easy way out. So I thanked my friend for his kind heart and declined his offer. I know a few people that would have taken the money and I know a few who would never have offered. But this is about being Mates. Being that friend willing to give until it hurt just to help your friend.
I look around and see that there is a small decline in the true understanding of this wonderful part of Australian culture. It has become in some areas very nuclear in those who people are willing to go that far. But then I am given hope by others that are trying to make a real change in Mateship and I am given hope. Such as those here in Launceston Tasmania who do the feeding the homeless. Who goes out every night rain or shine and make sure those who have so little can have food in their bellies. I have seen it in the sports we play (except in Falou who appears to have been hit in the head one to many times). There is no greater love of a sport when a child loses and walks over to tell his opponent congratulations and really means it. It is really an important part of Australia.
Egalitarianism, this sadly we have seen a HUGE change in the 17 years I have lived here. Most of it has come from the top end of town looking down on those who have less. In Australian culture this used to be a point of it did not matter what you did, how much you earned, who your parents were just to name a few. It was all about at the end of the day I could sit and have a beer with ya. But now we have seen a real change in the culture that in some ways has become scary. We have looked and seen the rich in the US and other countries and thought I want that to and I don’t care who I step on to get it. We have seen it at the top of the political culture who also now promotes a sense of division amongst the people. Pitting this group against that one. Trying to make themselves a tall poppy. When I came to Australia the tall poppies (people to big for their boots) were still looked at as a bad thing. I would have to agree that this in some part is not as present as it once was. We can see it clearly in the way the Government mistreats those who have less. While cloaking themselves in the guise of Religion and double speak. Which filters down to the everyday person.
Authenticity is one of the hardest phrases that I have had to learn in Australia fair dinkum. Now over the years (many of them), I did not really understand this simple Aussie slang. But as I look at it, it was due to the culture that I came from. Where being Authentic was not always the rule of the day. So when I would hear fair dinkum I would just be lost. But for the most part, Aussies are and most pride themselves in being Authentic. Mind you we have not even touched on the ways some of the slang can be used here which is a whole other minefield. much like the word F**k and how it can be used in different ways meaning different things. But being Authentic and True blue is very important in this culture. In fact, one might say it is one of the cornerstones of being a good Australian. For the most part, everyday people still lives up to this part of Australian culture. But then there are those who don’t and they stand out very clear and are looked down upon. Being a politician is not a very good thing to be these days. We have seen some real scum of Australia become leaders where the good ones are cut down.
Optimism yeah if you need to be explained on this subject than you feel it too. Getting a fair go in so many ways has gone.
Humility in the world of the Kardashians this really is a very hard thing to see. It has even begun to flow out of Australia. But there is hope and that is in our children if we play our cards right. I am no better than you.
Informality for the most part Australia has resisted in the PC culture without needing to be butt hurt by so many different things. But then there are a few who like to drive a nail while moaning and whinging about how they think others should be while forgetting to look at themselves first. Or those who have gotten bent on small slights that could just be let go and walked away from. But we have not forgotten the Uggboot and Trackies to go shopping in when you just can’t be bothered to care. Or the good mate who points out that you really did mess up on something that you should have known not to do in the first place, then have a belly laugh and share a drink. I still think it is alive and well.
Easy-going kind of goes hand in hand with the above here in Australia. Almost can’t have one without the other. Letting things roll off the ducks back like water is important. While remaining approachable on subjects that might piss ya off. But still being okay with calling someone a F*ckwit one minute and having a chin wag with the person a hour later. We can still see this alive and well I think. Yeah she’ll be right mate.
Common sense, there is NOTHING common about this these days. From the Christian right to the people who support the white winged nuts jobs (I know I said White). From Fraser Anning to Falou, there is a huge lack of common sense and support for everyone to just survive. It is very sad that we in the world are seeing this less and less.. I even need to point out that this does not exclude some in the LGBT+ communities. Lobbyist who push for unless changes that only put a target on the backs of those in the communities to TERF’s who join with others in denying science and cold hard facts.
Humour, were have you gone.. Why is it so hard to find it in day to day life? Simple it is being sucked out of us as our fair-go is leaving. Hard to find humour when you are dragged down by your day-to-day life. When the stress of life seems more than the fruits of your labor. You must ask yourself what have we done to get to this point in life.
In conclusion, yeah for the most part things are changing and not all of them are for the good. We have equal marriage but we have lost in equal understanding. We in Australia have seen a change in 17 years (because that is all I have seen). In some parts it is a loss, pride of wealth is greed overall. The people misunderstanding what oppression was and is in today’s world. Those that are homeless are forgotten except for a few. We look at the GDP instead of the reality of the common man. Where and how can this change simple with you and me. Vote for who will do the best job not who can sell you a pipe dream. Sometimes we need to swallow that hard pill. There are my two cents on the list she gave and I respect her for her thoughts in opening a discussion on this issue. Tell me what you think even if you done live in Australia.
Please don’t forget I could use your support.