Local Etiquette In Australia

Local Etiquette In Australia
Unless people purposely insult an Australian, it is very uncommon for newcomers to offend a local, particularly in relation to some cultural mishap. When it comes to European-Australians, there aren't really any cultural concerns to worry about. However, there are some things to remember for the Indigenous culture.

When it comes to dress standards, the typical clothes worn outside the house is a simple shirt and shorts, possibly jeans. Board shorts, which are commonly worn at the beach, are certainly in style, and is an acceptable piece of clothing attire for going to barbecues, shopping, movies with friends and other low key events. However, when clubbing or attending special occasions, it is customary to wear casual attire at the least. However, try not to over do it (black tie is rare unless otherwise stated!)

When greeting people, whether it is the first time or not, is usually done with a handshake, especially when it comes to men. Kissing and hugging as a greeting is not really practiced by locals. Greetings tend to be informal, and don't be surprised if a friend (even if the relationship is relatively new) uses a nickname instead of your real name. This is done quite commonly throughout Australia, and is used to show warmth and friendship towards the person.

Australians are proud people, but one thing that isn't tolerated too much is arrogance. Most Australian's use the phrase 'tall poppy syndrome' when they feel someone is being arrogant, and are not shy about showing their feelings towards an arrogant person too. It is generally not accepted by the public, even for high profile celebrities. Being humble is certainly recommended.

When it comes to Indigenous Australians, people need to be more careful about local do's and do not's. Firstly, the most accurate term to use for this race of people is Indigenous Australians. Try to avoid calling the race Aborigine, and do not under any circumstance use racist slang, which include negative words like 'abo'. This will not go down well at all.

When travelling through Australia, travellers will notice that most Indigenous land is open to the public. However, there are some significant cultural sites that require special permission from local groups. Uluru is one particular site that is considered sacred to several Indigenous tribes. Other areas of land that are owned by indigenous groups are entirely prohibited to enter. Double check before travelling to Aboriginal land.

Taking photos of local indigenous groups is generally accepted, but it is polite to ask permission first. Some of the more traditional clans do strongly believe that a flash photograph will effect their souls, so it is always wise to ask first.

Homosexuality is becoming more accepted in the larger cities of Australia, particularly in the central districts of Sydney. Each year, the Sydney Mardi Gras is held, drawing many thousands to the downtown area of the city. Despite this, rural areas tend to be less tolerant of gays and lesbians.