Sunday, August 31, 2008

BLOG DAY and all is well

In honor of Blog Day, which I might just add I had never heard of until Vanessa let me know about, this post will be my reflection of why Australia is culturally very different to a lot of other nations. Remember, this is MY opinion so take what you want and discard the rest.

First and foremost I will deal with the accent. There are many, as in the USA and UK, depending on where you are from in the country. Many would say that this is a lie - but the differences are more subtle than you would find elsewhere.

The Australian accent is different as most vowels are flat. The mouth doesn't open that much. You would probably be looking at distance between the teeth being the same as width of your pinky finger. The sides of the mouth are wide for all vowels and pretty much don't move. Now if you force the sound you create across your soft palette you might have a chance of sounding 'Ocker'. You need to focus on your nose but is essentially not nasal. (confused yet?)

Try sounding all the vowels without moving the sides of your lips - in fact don't move your mouth at all when you speak. Lip reading is difficult here. Now you should be sounding rather rough in your vowel sounds.

BUT I come from Melbourne and we do move our mouths more than other parts of Australia. There is a Melbourne accent which is more rounded - depending on which parts of the city you come from.

Next on my list is the bronzed, muscular image. This has been severely dashed if you read this article. It seems that we have lost our lustre but never fear we will be back.....once we have finished that cake, sandwich etc. At first a lot of people thought it was a joke but then we were beaten by the poms in the Olympics in the medal tally. Apparently this is not good for the public image..........

Now to the idea that we have Kangaroos hopping around everywhere. No. We don't. Just possums who hang around. (see picture - my back door one night!)

Foods uniquely Australian (or foods I crave after I have been overseas for a while) - Vegemite (brand named I know!) which is made from the left over yeast from beer making I believe; Tim- Tams oh how I love their chocalty goodness; twistees - something about cheesy snacks that were a mistake in creativity; cheezels - a party without all fingers covered in the rings of cheesy goodness could never happen as a child; ANZAC biscuits which many of you might know as a butternut snap but oh so much better; Meat Pies - which is the idea of a square of pastry and apparently edible meat inside; Rissoles - something like a hamburger but nothing really with the HUGE CHUNKS of onion throughout; cherry ripes - very sweet cherries crushed down with a coconut mixture and covered in chocolate; and finally Chocolate covered teddy bear biscuit (great to try and drink hot chocolate through).

Sense of humour - generally a lot of sarcasm in Australian humour. Might be a touch or irony too.

Politics - head spinning stuff here. I don't know how you Americans do it! You've had MONTHS of pre selection campaigns BEFORE the real deal! Generally it's about 6 weeks official campaigning - although there is so much more niggling that takes place between elections (every 3 - 4 years, no set dates).

Our two major parties are Liberal (the conservative grouping) and Labour (the not conservative group). In Queensland the Nationals (country based conservatives) have a large stake in the pie. After the last Federal election (96% voting - but it is compulsory here. Democracy with compulsory the Democrats lost all their seats in the Senate. Now the power is held by the Greens, a few Independents and a Family First politician. We might be lucky to have the government (Labour) pass anything .... Oh we don't vote for the Head of State, as you are now in the US, the party puts their best person forward and they get the job if their party wins.

Music - like the landscape, diverse. Arty farty in Melbourne and with a lot of global sounds. Great for a night of grooving. I could go into a lot more detail being a music teacher, but that would be another LONG blog and I feel I have said enough. happy blog day


Vanessa said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing all these interesting tid bits and the SO is laughing at me trying out the vowels. I don't think I'm doing it right. Thanks for sharing though, I've always wanted to move to Australia.

Anonymous said...

I still can't believe Australia beat us in the race to obesity!

What you didn't mention is how awesome Australians are. I have yet to meet one I didn't like (I've met 3 in person so far...surely that's enough to make a rash generalization).

Happy Blog Day! (belated I guess by the time you'll read this comment)