For foreign expats living in good ol’ Oz, we have to hand it to them. They’re bloody brave for attempting the country where almost everything can kill you, that contains the most outrageous dictionary of slang, and that brought us foods even we needed years to get used to.

Get excited to join/throw a ridgey-didge shindig, crack open some tinnys and down a snag (sausage) or two to show how they should do it back home, because fair dinkum you’ll be a pack of galahs if you don’t.

Mates, it doesn’t get better than Straya day. Welcome to our sophisticated culture.

1. “Music”, and Music.

Don’t even bother creating a Spotify playlist or you’ll be swiftly boxed out of the way with a fly swat and replaced by a radio (“is this the ONLY working radio we have in the house!? It’s shaped like a duck”). As you count down the Triple J Hottest 100, refrain from making judgement calls about whether T Swizzle belongs there or not, which can result in an all-out sausage flinging fest. Just shhh. Eat your saussie on bread. They’re too precious to waste in a fight. Bets may or may not be placed depending on how much money and face you’re willing to lose.

2. Citizens of Oz.

Some of you might be being indoctrinated into the Aussie hall of fame (YIPEEE HECS, A PASSPORT AND VOTING FOR YOU FROM NOW ON, M8S) – and we’re all the better to have you. Just make sure you leave room to celebrate after you’re released from the clutches of the ceremony, where you need more general knowledge on hand ready to drop at the mention of what happened to Harold Holt than most of the population. Flaunt this newfound knowledge with the oldies at the RSL you celebrate at after, and watch the respect flood in.

3. I don’t like cricket, oh no, I love it.

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What cricket fanatics want you to believe (and how you’re going to make them believe you).

Now friends, this one is tricky, made especially hard for those of us who didn’t grow up with brothers or sporting abilities or the patience to withstand an entire cricket match without wanting to wander off for a bucket of KFC (ironically Aussie cricket’s Big Bash sponsor).

Once forced into engaged in a game, the trick to pretending to know what one is doing is completing a lot of out-field running for an invisible ball, warming it up against one’s crotch, doing exercise if you’ve been lumped with the onus of fielder, and (for those who are bowling/catching) shouting a lot of cricket jargon “THAT’S TWO FOR SIX AND IT’S 20 INNINGS!!!” or something..

4. Beverages.

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Now, whether you like a drop of grog or not, there lies some etiquette in wetting one’s whistle on this fine blisteringly hot day. If you’re in a part of the world where you’ve entered the tenth circle of hell temperature-wise, it’s a good brew FTW (otherwise like…mulled wine? A shandy?). The locals may down a slab or two, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Stick to your middies, pints or schooners. Or pots, if you’re a giant who likes a two-sips-and-you’re-done kind of beer.

5. Patriotism. Or, as we like to call it – plastering all manners of the Aussie flag to one’s body.

Flags. Australian bikinis, thongs (not that type of thong), board shorts. ALL the Australian themed face tattoos.

Be really really cool and get 100 country-shaped tatts on that face of yours*. Just don’t forget Tassie #poortassie

*Can be used as a replacement for sunscreen. See the sun try and burn through THAT.

6. Food.

If someone brings out a pavlova mid-way through the day and you’re just trying to play beer pong, act excited, ACT EXCITED NOW. Nod, say thank you, accept a piece of your dilapidated (egg white mush?), and slowly pretend to eat it whilst making yummy noises.

A lot of effort went into this, there was the purchasing from Woolies, opening of a tin of passionfruit, a-prying open of a bag of Nanna’s frozen berries and a blank canvas for said fruit to be artistically displayed.

Proceed to bathroom if you’re not digging it, and flush it down the loo.

7. The deserters.

For those of you who’ve left our shores and made our plains a little more boundless, here are a few things to bring the comforts of home all the way to wherever you are.

  • Find the nearest Aussie pub.
  • Cry into your beer as you sing the national anthem with the most gusto you’ve ever mustered.
  • Heartily claim that pavlova is the most amazing dessert in the world and you’re gutted to not be having any this year.
  • Ditto Tim-Tams.
  • And lamingtons.
  • Down a snag in a slice of bread for old time’s sake.
  • Try and find a goon bag somewhere.
  • If all else fails, pour wine into a pillowcase and stand under it.

*Disclaimer: all of these things must be attempted with ease and care, Australiana-shock is real and you may feel the need to run and stumble back home after being exposed to our roo-loose-in-the-top-paddock traditions. Fair warning.

Alessia Castiglione
Alessia (not Alesha – please) is a serious Wicked fan and occasionally spends her time trying to get answers out of her cat. Eating forms the base of most of her weekend plans. One day she’d like to create the ultimate philosoraptor meme.