Thursday, October 8, 2015

Australian Stereotypes & Myths Busted

You know I love talking about Australia, so I thought I would share some common misconceptions about the ol' motherland and its peeps.

We all say G'day
I have probably heard this from a real live person less than 10 times in my life, not counting the times we all say it as a joke. Maybe it was a thing many years ago, but it's certainly not something I've ever encountered.



No one says you're welcome
I heard that we don't say you're welcome, we only say no worries. To that, I say WTF. Of course we say you're welcome, and you should say it too if someone says thank you, don't be rude. We also say no worries but that doesn't mean you're welcome isn't part of our vocabulary.



Shrimp on the barbie
We don't even call them shrimp, they are prawns. We do call the barbeque a barbie though. I am sure some people cook prawns on the barbie, but I certainly never have. As far as I know, most people eat them cold.

recipe!
I know technically prawns and shrimp are different things, but we mustn't have shrimp because I have literally never heard anyone say shrimp except to make fun of 'put another shrimp on the barbie'.

Fosters
Australian for beer? You mean, Australian for piss. I have never seen Fosters in a bar - wait no, that's a lie. I saw it in a bar in London once...


Everything is going to kill me!
Why are you scared of our wildlife but not scared of your own? Yes we have 'deadly' animals and stuff but do they actually kill people? No! If you are visiting Sydney or Melbourne cities you are very unlikely to encounter any of the things you are afraid of. Seriously. You're not gonna see a great white in Bondi (well it has happened before, but they were dead, and the shark alarm will go of well before it had a chance to eat you if it was alive), you're not gonna see a deadly snake at the Opera House. For reals, you will be fine. Chances are you'll die from falling of Ayers Rock or getting sunburned so bad you get skin cancer before you die from our 'deadly' wildlife.


We're all friendly / polite / down to earth.
In my opinion, we have as many friendly, mellow, polite down to earth people as any other country. Expecting everyone to want to be your best friend in Australia is like expecting it in America. Stereotypes of any kind are normally not true. If you go to Surfer's Paradise, yes more than likely people will be down to earth and friendly. If you're in the middle of Sydney on a Monday? Probably not. I think mainly, it's if you are nice and polite we will be as well.



That this or that person is Australian.
Think of an Australian celebrity. Betcha they aren't even Australian. Ok, Steve Irwin is (was), Heath Ledger is (was), the Hemsworth brothers are (you're welcome), Cate Blanchett is, Hugh Jackman is, Eric Bana is.. But Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Olivia Newton John, Russell Crowe, Mel Gibson... Nope. I know I've mentioned it before, but it really bothers me... I mean, Keith Urban sings about fourth of July. No. Australian you are not, my friend. I know you wanna be us, but you can't sit with us!



The toilet flushes the other way.
NOT FREAKING TRUE. The water comes out of a jet thingy which directs the way the water swirls. Just like yours. If a toilet flushes the other way it's because of how the toilet is made, not because of the Coriolis effect. Not to mention, our toilets have hardly any water in them - not like American toilets so the water just goes down, it doesn't swirl. Don't worry - it doesn't affect the way the toilet, you know, does its job.



On that note I might end this post. Did you know or not know any of these things?

57 comments:

  1. Haha I remember hearing a lot of these when my old co-worker started working with us. She ha just moved over from AUS andd everyone asked her pretty much all of these stereotypes.Love the "You can't sit with us" about Keith Urban hahahaha! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. LOVE this and how you said "you're welcome" for the Hemsworth brothers! YES! And the only reason I ever thought the toilet flushed the other way was because of a Simpsons episode :-P

    Green Fashionista

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  3. i want to go back! it's been 6 years and that is just too long for me. i admit, when i went to Aus the first thing i did was flush the toilet in my hotel room. sorely disappointed, hehe. i will say out of the 19 countries i have visited, i felt the safest in australia and the people were the nicest. kind of like the south but with less judgmental ppl! ;)

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  4. That's so funny that y'all call shrimp prawns. And I totally didn't realize that most people don't say g'day. Maybe we just think that because of be Aussie accent and probably because of Hollywood. And I can't believe that people actually think that they'll get attacked by things if they visit the big cities! People are cray!

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  5. I'm a little sad about the toilet not flushing the other way- just saying...

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  6. I do have a few stereotypes about Australia that came about from traveling and meeting actual Aussies. First off- these guys partied..A LOT. We stayed with them in a hostel and they woke up each morning with a shot of Absinthe, then we went to breakfast and they would have a beer. That would continue all day long..wtf! They taught me a lot of words, like scull a beer, do a shoeie, meatpie. The only other stereotype I have is that Aussies and Kiwis hate each other..is that true?

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  7. people are stupid...i wonder where they get all that shit (probably from other stupid people). i knew that the hemsworth brothers and hugh jackman are australian and i've always thought: well, the aussies churn out some good lookin' people!!!

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  8. I'm so glad you wrote this! More misinformation dispelled before I actually visit. :D Although the wildlife thing... I feel like there are 2 aspects you may not have considered. 1) Europe has very little "nature" left, because it's been "civilized" so long. So all they really have are wolves and bears and those are endangered, so sightings are probably pretty rare. The US has more but I think Australian wildlife seems really exotic to us, so we make a bigger deal out of it (if it helps - Africa seems just as fascinating and scary!). And so the cities aren't any more dangerous than anywhere else, but the country itself has so much cool stuff! 2) I can't speak for other countries, but the US definitely has a stereotype of Australians as being really tough. So exaggerating how dangerous your animals are plays into that "Australians are so hardcore" persona that we like, for some reason.

    To sum up: I don't think you should be offended, but I can understand how you'd get tired of outrageously incorrect cliches. (My coworker thought "drop bears" were a real thing. I educated him - helping you out!)

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  9. I love these stereotypes posts! If I ever remember to sit down & write one out I'll have to do one for Minnesota/Texas.

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  10. I think the mistaken Australians thing has a lot to do with the fact that Americans lump New Zealand and Australia together or just forget about NZ all together. I don't think I realized that Cate Blanchett was Australian, though.

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  11. What?!?!? I swore you Aussies always say G'day while drinking Fosters and eating Shrimp on the Barbie! NO?! Wow, mind blown ;)!

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  12. I've never heard people talk about Australian toilets or people not saying you're welcome or anything like that.

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  13. hmm.. I really thought Nicole Kidman was Australian. I just googled it and apparently she was born in Hawaii, moved to DC briefly as a child and then back to Australia at the age of like 3. Huh. You learn something new every day.

    Sarah
    Midwest Darling

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  14. ok i totally thought Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Olivia Newton John, Russell Crowe were from there. No. Australian you are not, my friend. I know you wanna be us, but you can't sit with us! BAHAHAHH check. xoxo

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  15. When I visited Australia years ago no one, not one person said G'day.

    We did check the water in the sink though, not the toilet. You never know until you look.

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  16. WHAT?!?!!?!? I thought Keith Urban, Olivia NJ & Russell Crowe all were too... I gotta see where they're really from now - I'm so confused.
    But Hugh Jackman... mmmm... that's my man. Australian wins just for that.

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  17. lol this is hilarious. This just reminds me of Danny Deckchair... gotta watch that again soon. Pancake brekkie (?) spelling? bhaha My mini reading rut is over. I finished the book I started in one day again. Well ok then, all or nothing it would seem. And I had to laugh because I got Blackmoore from the library hold, like right after you suggested not reading it! ha there was the email, your book is ready to pick up. LOL I haven't picked it up to read yet. XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  18. I thought Nicole Kidman...was.. lol I have no idea who is Australian or not. I AM scared of the animals in Australia, but to be fair, I'm also terrified of the animals here. I want to go see the Redwoods in California..immediate thought - 'what about the bears?'

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  19. I didn't know about so many of these things! The stereotypes are pretty funny though (esp when finding out they're wrong)!

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  20. I simply do not believe that everything in Australia isn't out to kill you. I saw 10 Deadliest Creatures on discovery channel and freaking 8 of them are in Australia. Including one giant ass spider thing that likes to hang out in garages and if you step on it in socks or bare feet, it clings into the bottom of your foot and is super poisonous and that one IS in big cities. LIES. Everything is deadly there.
    (Also, clearly the discovery channel has scarred me for life...)

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  21. Umm You're welcome. That one was weird of course you say that too. You had me on Keith Urban, I totally thought he was but nope New Zealand and moved to Australia. Good one!

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  22. This was so funny! I'm from Ohio but I have family from Australia!
    xo ClassToCloset

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  23. I have never heard that people think Australians are rude? French people yes, but not Australians. I didn't know about the toilet thing either? I am listening to Husband's Secret right now on Audible. I read a review where some dumbass said how one minute they are talking about the fall and the next is something about Easter and how wrong it was. I was like duh fucktard.....not every country is on the same season as ours!!!! People are so ignorant!

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  24. When I go to Australia I will be so educated so thank you! But I'm still convinced there is a disproportionate amount of deadly creatures in Australia. Also, THERE ARE SHARK ALARMS???!! This is concerning to me.

    Rick Springfield. Does he count as Australian?

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  25. Hahahaha I loved this post! I feel like every place has there stereotypes and obviously Australia is one of them. We visited when I was young and I have to say I do remember hearing "no worries" A LOT. In fact I'm pretty sure both my mom and I say that phrase just from that trip (but that's a stretch) I say it way too much. But I say you're welcome too, so I guess it's all good. And I cracked up at "Australian for piss!" Too funny! Isn't all cheap beer kind of like that though?

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  26. You just crushed everything I think about Australia, I'm so deflated now. Just kidding but I did think some of these things but not all of them. I've never heard that Australias dont say your welcome but I'm glad they do, no need to be rude!

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  27. Haha, when I went to Australia the first thing my Dad wanted me to find out was about the toilet water and if it went down in the other direction. Not even kidding, the first time I called him, his first child to go abroad, the first thing he asked me was about the toilet water ha.

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  28. I'll admit I've always thought everything in Australia is going to kill me but I'm terrified of the creepy bugs and wildlife here killing me too.

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  29. Love posts like this! I've actually been toying around with the idea of doing one about crazy things I hear about Russians. :) I've never heard the toilet thing-I wonder how that started!

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  30. Cracking up! Stereotypes are a hell of thing, right? It's unbelievable how everyone thinks shrimp on the barbie is Australian (probably because of ads from the Outback restaurant) and that Foster's is the main beer.

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  31. Hey, now!!! Watch how you speak about my man, Keith!!!!! hahaha. Love this post and that you used 2 GIFs from my 2 favorite movies, Dumb & Dumber and The Shining!

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  32. I absolutely love this post! I really enjoy learning about other cultures and this was top notch. It was so fun!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle,blogspot,com

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  33. Aside from the "barbie" quote and "g'day", I'd actually never heard of these stereotypes before. Some of them are quite ridiculous. I mean people are just people.

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  34. You know I have to chime in. You know the whole Shrimp on a Barbie thing is the fault of Paul Hogan and a tourism for Australia from yearssssss ago? I still don't understand why they said that in the ad. Because Americans didn't know what prawns were? Then say "throw a sausage on the barbie" or something. Whatevs.

    For the record, I have seen a red-bellied black snake and funnel webs. But, in Texas, I've seen copperheads, water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and brown recluses...so those are all scary critters too.

    Bottle shops selling American beer here choose Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft. No thank you.

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  35. This is hilarious. I have to admit, I thought Olivia Newton John was an Aussie... my bad. I was sad when I realised people don't actually say g'day, but instead say 'hi how you going?', which totally confused me until I realised you don't actually have to answer properly.

    Love the final gif :)

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  36. I knew about the water flow in the toilet only because I paid very close attention every time I flushed when I was there in 2007. I was on a mission to learn the truth! LOL! I remember hearing "no worries" some while I was there, but I honestly think I heard it more in New Zealand. If I heard it once in NZ, I seriously heard it a thousand times. Cute post!

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  37. I never knew that people thought Mel Gibson was Australian, or that he lived part of his life there. I just assumed he was born and raised in America! (I looked all of those people up after I read your post -- why doesn't Nicole Kidman count? I know she was born elsewhere, but both of her parents are Australian and she lived most of her life there, right?) That shrimp on the barbie thing is ridic. It's funny how every culture gets distilled down to like 3 or 4 stereotypes that are probably only true of like 2 people in the entire population, if that.

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  38. Fosters Australian for piss! Hahahahahahhaa! Im dying! Totally agree not a fan of fosters and thats pretty lame the claim to be australian when they really arent! Now I want some prawns on the barbie!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  39. Ohhhh the Hemsworth brothers. So dreamy! I met an Australian girl when I was in Italy a few years ago, and we got very, very drunk together and the only thing I remember was that she told me that Ugg boots are NOT cool! She said only fat Moms wore them haha. (True or false?) I was like, OMG you're kidding we love them?! I figured everyone in Australia loved them!

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  40. Awe, I thought the toilet thing was true.

    What's the reasoning for those celebs not being Australian? Them spending most of their life elsewhere or are they really not Australian???

    Also, are there any myths about Americans that you'd heard and learned weren't true? I'm curious!

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  41. I had honestly only heard maybe 1-2 of these!! The toilet thing being one of them, haha! Def thought Keith Urban was from Australian... but can we really just talk about he looks like an actual woman in that picture?! Omg... haha!

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  42. Yay thank you for explaining some of these! I thought Nicole Kidman was Australian!

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  43. I had to go back and read the Wikipedia on Olivia because she is one of my all time favorites. So she moved to Australia when she was six....I would still let her say she grew-up in Australia but I guess maybe her citizenship is not? I'm also sorry for incorrectly believing you all said G'Day and Shrimp on the Barbie. Blame America for that. :)

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  44. Mind blown about the actors who are not really Australian. It's like my entire life is a lie now... Lol :)

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  45. I think it's true that toilets in Asia, or at least parts of it, flush the other way, but I'm not positive and am too lazy to google. Also, you really need to get yourself some grilled shrimp kebabs because yum. And I don't know if you know this but that RUDE gif you used is from one of my favorite videos of all time and my friends and I always use the index-finger-up gesture along with calling something/someone "Rude" and call "saCURity" because Bon Qui Qui is the best. So thank you for using this gif and making me have the happies.

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  46. I ALWAYS wondered if the toilet flushing water the other way was actually true or not and now you have put my mind at ease :)

    Is it appropriate if I just talk about throwing everything on the barbie simply because I like that word so much?

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  47. Hehe, that scene from Dumb & Dumber. One of my fave movies. Once I saw him say that line "shrimp on the barbie", I knew it had to be wrong. I knew about the Foster's being crap beer :).

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  48. Haha love this. In Canada we call it a barbie too. And ew, Fosters...

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  49. These are pretty funny, though I must admit I've never heard of any of these. Except for maybe those celebrities because I assumed they were Australian but they aren't really! Canada also has some stereotypes, like everyone saying "eh" nonstop.

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  50. I definitely did think that Keith Urban was from Australia. That's why I've always thought it was so crazy that he sings country music!

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  51. hahaha this post is amazing and surprisingly enlightening. I'm ashamed to say I didn't know these were all myths. Thank you for the Hemsworths though. Really. XO

    MacKensie
    www.onetonothin.com

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  52. I love this post. I have always loved reading posts like this and finding out which stereotypes were true and which weren't. I knew most of them but it was still fun to read about!

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  53. "the Hemsworth brothers are (you're welcome)" hey... you DO say "you're welcome." Hahahah! I'd actually never heard that about YOU PEOPLE. ;)

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  54. Haha! This is funny! Is Keith urban really not from Australia?! One more question... Do people say "mate"? lol.

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  55. This is awesome! But wait. People thought Mel Gibson was Australian?! I know about OLN and Keith Urban (he's from NZ, right?), but Nicole Kidman isn't Australian? I have a few Aussie friends and love that they/you shorten a bunch of your words. Barbie, Chrissy, kindy, pressie, footy... :)

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  56. The shrimp on the barbie one is so true. When I went I realized NOONE SAYS SHRIMP. It actually shocked me that literally everyone said prawns. haha I have to share this post with my sis!!

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  57. My Dad lived in Australia back in the early 80s, so I knew a decent amount of these things. (One of these days I'm going to finally go!) I did not know that Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe aren't actually Australian! (It makes me wonder what other things Oprah lied to me about. Must Google to find correct nationalities.)

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