Happy Australia Day!

Australia DayAustralia Day has arrived! The sun is trying to shine, rain has stayed away, and we can all have a day off, eat lamingtons, and celebrate Australia.

After blog-hopping around so many amazing blogs for the Australia Day Giveaway I’ve become inspired about all things Aussie. Today’s post is going to be about things I love about Australia. Not just the Tim Tams or the weather, but the little things like our laid back approach to things, our animals, and even just the fact that we have a language all of our own that is nearly impossible to understand by anyone else. Of course one must realise this isn’t 1970s anymore and while a few things remain, we don’t all walk around sounding like Alf Stewart, Mick Dundee, or say half the things on those ‘Understanding Aussie Slang’ cheat cards. I know this is a slightly unconventional list of favourite Aussie things than just listing things like Tim Tam Slams or Home and Away, but I think it’s nice to remember we are actually more than just the stereotypes we may seem to be, but on the other hand we are also sometimes exactly like that so it’s hard to win!

The first thing is Vegemite. I love vegemite. I know it sounds so stereotypical but I do love it. I once made an awesome vegemite and red wine gravy, it was so delicious. I have also been asked whether I would like some toast with my vegemite because I apparently put too much on. I do draw the line at vegemite chocolate because that’s a big no no.

Another stereotypical answer is the landscape. I love the harbour, I love the outback, but I love the bush more. I love the trees and the different shades of green. It isn’t fluoro green or dark shades of green, it’s like a pale green, bits of brown, bits of yellow. It’s beautiful.

I love that people are scared of our animals despite the fact we haven’t got any bears, lions, tigers, or massive constricting snakes. We have tiny spiders and snakes that stay out of your way 99% of the time unless you are in the middle of nowhere where they all live under the toilet seat.

I love the fact we have an unspoken rule about convincing foreigners to believe things about our country. Not just drop bears (they of course are real and very dangerous), but trying to convince them with a straight face we say certain phrases, or do certain things. Even not just making things up, I love seeing people freak out over actual Aussie animals like the Cassowary or the Numbat. Or see them trying to work out what a servo is, an arvo is, or what a u-ey is and why we’re chucking it. It’s wonderful innocent fun.

I love our summer Christmases, I cannot imagine any other way that sitting in the sun with Christmas music playing (as odd as it is to sing about snow in 35 degree heat). Ham and prawns and pressies, it’s fantastic.

I love our food, and I love that it’s so different than anywhere else. We have lamingtons and fairy bread, Fantails and Ice Vo-vos, Milo and Malteasers. How could we have gone on as a country without having that to spur us on? I also love you can’t talk about most of these things without getting strange looks from other people like you are saying a bunch of gibberish words.

I also love that we have this culture and common understanding practically ingrained in us. We understand when someone says ‘Not happy, Jan’, or ‘Look at moi’. We know the Happy Little Vegemite song practically from birth, as well as the Aeroplane Jelly song and Louie the Fly despite the fact they probably haven’t been on TV in years. We know about the Boxing Day arguments over whether to watch the cricket or the sailing. We can finish the line ‘Have you ever, ever felt like this’, and we had a favourite Play School window. It’s amazing how much shared knowledge and experience we actually have, it’s awesome.

So that’s my list! My strange collections of things I love about being an Aussie and wouldn’t give up for the world. I know everyone has different things they love, are any the same? Totally different? Whatever you love about Australia Day I hope you’re having a fantastic time celebrating wherever you are and however you are choosing to enjoy it. I myself am going to have my second lamington of the day (no doubt not my last) before having a sausage sandwich and supervise the making of ANZAC bikkies. I think that’s as Australian as I will get today luckily.

I hope the sun keeps shining on all your merriments and that in between the barbeque and backyard cricket games you get to read something spectacular, or maybe even pop over to enter a giveaway or two on the blog-hop *wink wink*.

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