Customs and cultural habits, business etiquette, events
G’day everyone. As promised, here is the second article of the theme « social rituals ». The first one is here. The Australian society is very lively and quite different from the French one. Australians are always cheerful, ready to help and they like small talks.
Customs and habits
Here are some simple facts you need to know about Australia:
The Australian lifestyle is westernised. Australians love barbecues, called BBQ or Barbies.
The culture of sport is very present: football, rugby, bike, surfing… Australians also love running and are used to doing their jogging in town.
Australians love to travel, inside or outside the country. They especially like to go to Fiji, the USA, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where English language is spoken.
They are also big beer drinkers: Australia is the 4th largest consumer of beer. An Aussie drinks 107 litres of beer per year!
Australians are familiar and very friendly. For example, starting talking with the cashier, with someone met in the street or with someone at the supermarket is an ordinary situation.
Since I’m not very familiar with the Australian professional world and how it operates, I went on the website Kwintessential to find some information.
The Australian organisation of work is informal. Greetings are simple: a handshake and a smile. Punctuality is essential.
Australians don’t need to build strong relationships to do business with someone else. Moreover, they are direct and straightforward. They don’t beat around the bush. Their language and their proximity to others may surprise foreigners.
Decision-making is made at the top of the corporate hierarchy, but subordinates are consulted. In everyday life, the hierarchy is of little importance: a basic employee can discuss with the company's CEO.
To finish with, clothing is traditional: suit for men, dress for women.
In Australia, the events are many and varied. Let's talk about 2 specific events.
The Australian Open
This event is a world famous tennis tournament, organised by the International Tennis Federation. It’s part of the Grand Slam, as well as Roland Garros in France, Wimbledon in London and the US Open in New York.
The Australian Open is held in Melbourne in January, since 1905. This tournament brings together the best tennis players of the world.
The Open takes place at Melbourne Park and mobilises 23 tennis courts for the competition. One of the courts has a sunroof in case of bad or hot weather. 15,000 spectators can be accommodated.
In 2013, Novak Djokovic (Serbia) became the first player in the Open era to win the Australian Open tournament three times in succession.
For men, it's Roger Federer (Switzerland) who owns the largest number of victories in the Australian Open: 69 in 14 participations. For women, Serena Williams (USA) and Martina Navratilova (Czechoslovakia) are equal for the largest number of victories: 58 each.
You can visit the website dedicated to the Australian Open here.
Sydney Mardi Gras
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is a festival and a parade held every year since 1978, from the 7th of February to the first Sunday of March.
This colourful event gathers hundreds of thousands of people from around the country, and even from abroad.
Many events take place: drag queens races on Bondi Beach, a roundtable on LGBTQI issues, a film festival, a parade and a great Mardi Gras party... In the end, nearly 80 events are organised during this period.
Each year the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras makes a lot of money for New South Wales: 30 million dollars, that is the second most lucrative event of the year for the State.
If you like more information, please visit the event's website.
I can’t end up this article without mentioning the Australian culinary specialties, which are very different from the French ones.
You will also find the meat pie, which is a takeaway:
Finally, as Australia is the country of wildlife, you may have the chance to eat kangaroo, emu and crocodile meat. Enjoy your meal!
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