Cultural behaviour

Who are Australians?

You cannot generalize an entire race, however after having met quite a few Australians, you begin to see there are some traits they have in common.

Cultural behaviour

Modesty

Australians are very down to earth and always tend to be modest. They don’t like to appear to be better than others and are cautious about showing off. They value sincerity and do not really appreciate people who act like someone they’re not. Australians are a free spirited and open people, with a great sense of humour. They like it when you can make them laugh and they really enjoy their lives.

On the topic of individual careers, they do not draw attention to their academic or professional achievements to impress others. They often downplay their own success, which may make them appear not to be achievement-oriented, however the opposite is often the case.

Relationships

Australians value relationships with friends highly. This might have something to do with the fact that the country is enormous for such a small population, leading to situations where you don’t know when you might need someone’s help. They always approach people openly and in a friendly way and are willing to meet new people and make new friends.

Travellers

Australians are world wide travellers. Everywhere you go, in all corners of the globe, you will find Australians. The way they travel is usually low budget. They have great affiliation with nature and love outdoor sports.  

A multi-cultural society

The original population of Australia was made up of Aborigines. In the 17th century the British started to settle in the newly claimed land and this led to migration of people from British and Irish descent. After the Second World War the Australian government proactively tried to attract immigrants in order to boost the population and workforce. This resulted in heavy migration from Europe, especially from Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Turkey. Now, Australia has liberalised its immigration policy and opened its borders to immigrants from Southeast Asia. All these influences have caused a real shift in self-perception of Australians and they begin to re-define themselves as a multi-cultural nation. Be mindful though, Australian immigration laws are pretty strict.

Australian Etiquette & Customs

Australians are not very formal so greetings tend to be casual and relaxed. When you meet an Australian, it is common to shake hands and smile. They will usually introduce themselves with their first names and prefer to use those, even when meeting someone for the first time.

Giving Gifts

The giving of small gifts or presents to family members, close friends, and neighbours on birthdays and Christmas is quite common. If you are invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a box of chocolates or flowers for the hostess. A good quality bottle of wine is always appreciated. Wrapped presents are opened when received to show gratitude.

Dining in Australia

When receiving a dinner invitation from an Australian it will most likely be for a barbecue. Guests to a barbeque typically bring wine or beer for their personal consumption. Make sure you arrive on time if invited to dinner. Don’t be more than 15 minutes late if invited to a barbeque or a large party. It is seen as impolite. To make a good impression, contact the hostess of the dinner party ahead of time to see if she would like you to bring a dish. Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or cleaning up after a meal is served. Often she will refuse, but it is just a polite gesture to make.

The table manners of the Australians are Continental. Hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right hand. If you are finished eating, place your cutlery next to each other on your plate. Keep your elbows off the table and your hands above the table when eating. Always eat with two hand and don’t slurp.

Modesty

Australians are very down to earth and always tend to be modest. They don’t like to appear to be better than others and are cautious about showing off. They value sincerity and do not really appreciate people who act like someone they’re not. Australians are a free spirited and open people, with a great sense of humour. They like it when you can make them laugh and they really enjoy their lives.

On the topic of individual careers, they do not draw attention to their academic or professional achievements to impress others. They often downplay their own success, which may make them appear not to be achievement-oriented, however the opposite is often the case.

Relationships

Australians value relationships with friends highly. This might have something to do with the fact that the country is enormous for such a small population, leading to situations where you don’t know when you might need someone’s help. They always approach people openly and in a friendly way and are willing to meet new people and make new friends.

Travellers

Australians are world wide travellers. Everywhere you go, in all corners of the globe, you will find Australians. The way they travel is usually low budget. They have great affiliation with nature and love outdoor sports.  

A multi-cultural society

The original population of Australia was made up of Aborigines. In the 17th century the British started to settle in the newly claimed land and this led to migration of people from British and Irish descent. After the Second World War the Australian government proactively tried to attract immigrants in order to boost the population and workforce. This resulted in heavy migration from Europe, especially from Greece, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Turkey. Now, Australia has liberalised its immigration policy and opened its borders to immigrants from Southeast Asia. All these influences have caused a real shift in self-perception of Australians and they begin to re-define themselves as a multi-cultural nation. Be mindful though, Australian immigration laws are pretty strict.

Australian Etiquette & Customs

Australians are not very formal so greetings tend to be casual and relaxed. When you meet an Australian, it is common to shake hands and smile. They will usually introduce themselves with their first names and prefer to use those, even when meeting someone for the first time.

Giving Gifts

The giving of small gifts or presents to family members, close friends, and neighbours on birthdays and Christmas is quite common. If you are invited to someone's home for dinner, it is polite to bring a box of chocolates or flowers for the hostess. A good quality bottle of wine is always appreciated. Wrapped presents are opened when received to show gratitude.

Dining in Australia

When receiving a dinner invitation from an Australian it will most likely be for a barbecue. Guests to a barbeque typically bring wine or beer for their personal consumption. Make sure you arrive on time if invited to dinner. Don’t be more than 15 minutes late if invited to a barbeque or a large party. It is seen as impolite. To make a good impression, contact the hostess of the dinner party ahead of time to see if she would like you to bring a dish. Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or cleaning up after a meal is served. Often she will refuse, but it is just a polite gesture to make.

The table manners of the Australians are Continental. Hold your fork in your left hand and your knife in your right hand. If you are finished eating, place your cutlery next to each other on your plate. Keep your elbows off the table and your hands above the table when eating. Always eat with two hand and don’t slurp.

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