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10 Facts about Australian society that may amaze you

Ever wondered how Australian society is?

Australia is a great country to be and live in on this earth. Multicultural communities, well-planned housing and being highly developed residents can live the best life they want to. Australian society over time has developed themselves to have a distinct and unique identity among other nationalities. Be it about the Aussie slangs, footy fandom or the popular Aussie spirit.

In this article, we will be listing a few interesting things about Australian society that can amaze an international student or anyone outside of Australia particularly South Asia. This is based on personal experience and in no way is meant to encourage racism, ethnic biases or discrimination.

There might be several reasons one immigrant be it an international student or a tourist visiting Australia who might notice the following things. Cultural differences between Australia and South Asian countries might be the primary reason for this. These cultural differences often are the reason for newcomers to face cultural shock.

Activities, behaviours and lifestyle that are very common in Australia might be uncommon or hard to accept in some countries particularly South Asia because of socioeconomic and other factors. Likewise, the practices and habits common in South Asian countries might amaze the Australian community.

Here below, we have listed some interesting Australian things that might amaze an international student or any immigrant or a tourist here in Australia.

Use of the word ‘mate’

G’day mate, how you going?
Morning mate!
Hey mate, can we do finish this job first and then we can go for the other?

Australians make extensive use of the English word ‘mate’ in day to day conversation. It is used to address for a friend, colleague or anyone you are seeing for the first time. So you shouldn’t be amazed the third or fourth time when someone calls you by ‘mate’. 😀

In Australia, a ‘mateis more than just a friend and is a term that implies a sense of shared experience, mutual respect and unconditional assistance. – Wikipedia

Greeting ‘hello’ to the strangers on the street

This might be very common in many societies but not in all South Asian societies. In Australian society, as you walk down the street, many people who can be a total stranger to you might greet ‘hi’, ‘hello’ and smile at you or nod their head.

This might sound a bit fascinating if you haven’t faced such a situation before but you’ll get used to it. This is a common tradition or form of respecting anyone. Remember, this isn’t mandatory. 😀 But you’ll definitely feel good and honoured when someone greets you on the road or you respond.

Sometimes, you might even find some strangers talking you while waiting for the bus and this is perfectly normal.

Thanking bus driver while hopping off

It is a form of civilization and thankfulness to thank the driver who dropped you home. You can see people saying ‘hi’ while boarding the bus and thanks while dropping off or simply waving hands if in sight. A form simple form of courtesy and respect!

Open door policy, electrically secured premises

australia people university

You might notice many schools, businesses and others don’t have high walls or fences and human security guard present every time. Instead, they are secured by a highly advanced alarm and security system which secures the premise and automatically notifies security organizations if intruders or breaches noticed. This helps in reducing cost in hiring extra manpower and makes security more advanced with latest technologies.

Watch TV channels for free with Freeview!

Yes, you read it right. Unlike in many countries where you need to pay fees to watch local TV channels, in Australia, you can watch tons of TV channels on your TV for free without any fees.

You just need a TV antenna and a TV of course! 😀 Channels are broadcasted digitally over the air and received by your TV aerial. Channels like 7, 9, 10, SBS any many to choose from. You can also opt to pay for TV channels if you want. Check Freeview for more information.

Use of slang

Australians use slang in day to day conversation a lot! There are a lot of Aussie slangs and you might find that Australians pronounce it differently and quick! Aussie slang is famous worldwide for their uniqueness. Below are some common Aussie slangs you might come around:

arvoafternoon
barbiebarbeque
Boganan Australian term for describing someone who may be a yobbo (redneck) (informal and might be offensive)
blokemale
dunnytoilet
jumpersweater
macasMc Donalds
matefriend, term for friendship
reckonagree, be of opinion
uniuniversity
veggiesvegetables

Australian accent

English is the widely spoken language in Australia known here as Australian English. Australians tend to have their own unique way of speaking English which is known as an Australian accent.

You might find it hard to understand Australian accent at first particularly if English is your second language but you will get used to it later.

Interesting read: Learn English: Six facts about the Australian accent on abc.net.au

Addressing/ calling by First Name

Calling or addressing people by their first name is common practice in many countries including Australia. But not always the same in many South Asian countries, where people are generally addressed by their relation, sir/ mam, or likewise.

Australians prefer to address by the first name be it in work, cafe or in beach irrespective of the hierarchy or position. There are also several exceptions to this like in Army, Police, or in places where you can’t or shouldn’t call someone by their first name.

Attending a birthday party? Don’t forget to carry some cash as you might need to pay for yourself!

Doesn’t seem right?

But it is absolutely normal and correct! It mightn’t be the case always but you might need to pay for yourself even if you are attending a party by invitation. This is very common practice among Australian society.

Paying rent and bills even when you are staying with your parents

One common practice seen in Australia is the way you are encouraged to be independent. When you are above 18 years of old, you are encouraged or motivated by the socio-cultural factors to pay the rent and bills for what you are using even when you are living with your parents.

This is a very positive act as it encourages youth to start working and be independent. On the other hand, it will be some help to parents too.