Like most countries, Australian stereotypes are often misinformed and portrayed incorrectly to people about the truth. Facts are generalized and it turns into something that sounds almost believable. But stereotyping in most cases is completely erroneous. Unless you visit Australia you may never know what the ‘real’ facts are. So here are 13 typical stereotypes of Australia used around the world.
1. “Throw another Shrimp on the Barbie.”
I have no doubt that this one is one of the most overused stereotypes in the book. Yeah, yeah, yeah I get it. Paul Hogan became famous from the popularity surrounding Crocodile Dundee. He was a celebrity, and what better person to promote Australia than someone who was that iconic. Don’t get me wrong he’s a great ambassador and a spokesperson, but this does not mean that we actually say this phrase.
2. Pretty much anything can kill you
You hear that if you travel to Australia be wary of the wildlife. Australia does host spiders, crocodiles, snakes, sharks, jellyfish, scorpions and whatever else that can potentially kill you. Well, of course they can. What people don’t know is the fact that, they are pretty hard to come by. Let’s be honest there are definitely some that live in the metropolitan areas which tourists visit. There’s no denying that. But you’d have to go away from the city to find the natural fauna. And on top of that we don’t have lions, bears, or jaguars which people encounter elsewhere in the world within the confinements of their lives.
3. Fosters! Fosters! Fosters!
Okay, so it’s definitely iconic. But you know what, we don’t even own the rights to it anymore. It’s owned by Heineken and brewed in the UK. You seriously can’t buy these anymore. I mean it. Bottle shops, pubs and clubs don’t serve these anymore. In my case, I didn’t personally mind. I thought it was pretty mediocre.
4. Wrestling Crocodiles
So let’s be rational here. In what mind or planet do you think us, as humans would wrestle crocodiles? The razor sharp teeth, the lock jaw and the death roll they do when they attack a prey. If that isn’t enough to deter you they are also a close relative to dinosaurs. Yeah, those prehistoric animals dating back millions and millions of years. Sure Steve Irwin became renowned for wrestling crocodiles, but this doesn’t mean we all do. I know for sure that I’m steering well clear of them even if I were to see one in the wild.
5. Riding Kangaroos everywhere
WE HAVE CARS, BUSES, TRAINS, PLANES, BIKES and whatever else normal people travel on. Sure horses and camels are an example to animals we use as transport, but have you seen the size of them? Now compare it to a Kangaroo. Where the hell do you sit?
6. Australia is just a desert
source – abc
This is true. We definitely are predominantly a desert. But we didn’t build cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in a desert. We are not like the cities in the Middle East, whereby we literally had no choice but to build on the desert. Sure some cities are closer to the desert than the others but you have been misinformed if you thought we colonized on it.
7. We don’t use Vegemite on everything
image – sbs
The catchy Vegemite song does say that we eat it for ‘breakfast, lunch and tea’. This doesn’t mean we are completely outlandish with how we eat our food. We don’t by any means use this delicious (it’s definitely arguable to those who have never tried it) spread over cooked meat or desserts. We more so use it on bread and pastries. Mmmm….
8. ‘Australian’ isn’t a language
Like most countries, we do have unusual sounding slangs and idioms. But this does not mean that we speak Australian. We speak English. Sure we may speak a little quicker and have the tendency to shorten our words, but it’s still English. It’s more so a different dialect of English. How else would you remotely understand what you’re reading right now?
9. We all surf
Geographically speaking 85% of the population do live within 50kms (32 miles) of a coastline, but you would be mistaken if you thought everyone surfed. Just in the Sydney area the greater part of the population lives on the west, whereby travelling to a beach can be an arduous activity. Most people love the beach but whether they’re willing to travel all that way can be questionable. As an overall you’d be generalizing things way too much to think everyone goes to the beach, let alone surf.
10. Australia’s drinking culture
There’s nothing wrong with wetting a whistle and there’s no denying ‘drinking’ is ingrained as a part of the Australian culture. I’m not saying we get a white girl wasted every time we drink, but people often assume we have a drinking problem. In retrospect, there are many other countries which fill the spots above us. Countries like Germany, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the UK are all heavier drinkers than us Aussies.
11. We don’t use the BBQ as much as you think
Much like the first stereotype, people assume that we love our barbeque to the extent that we just do all of our culinary work outside. Don’t get me wrong we love entertaining people at our homes and when the occasion arises we are straight outside cooking up a steak. But truthfully, you’d have to be pretty naive to think we don’t cook inside at a kitchen.
12. Aussies and Kiwis do not have similar accents
People (commonly Americans) think that we sound very similar to New Zealanders. This definitely isn’t true. We can easily decipher who is from where. I mean, sure they are one of our closest neighbours and speak English, but this does not mean anything. Australia and New Zealand are very closely knit together but at the same time are very competitive amongst each other. It is somewhat similar to the USA and Canada relationship, whereby offense could be taken if you pick the wrong country of origin.
13. Not everybody is a “Bogan”
Forget about all you see on television, on the internet and where ever else. Much like rednecks, Australia has its own breed of odd but colourful characters. They are often portrayed as rough and vulgar, but it’s not everywhere you go. Seriously! It’s more so the population outside of the metropolitan.