When it comes to discussion of Australian Culture and what it means to be Australian many individuals around the globe have different opinions, specifically those that are based roughly on Australian stereotypes. Thus bringing us to the question; Is this an ‘Beaches, Beer and Barbecues’ an accurate way of describing the Australian Culture.
This essay will focus on the discussion and defining of stereotypes and culture, different aspects of Australian stereotypes, values, beliefs and customs and whether or not this relates back to the description of ‘Beaches, Beers and Barbecues’.
Firstly, A Stereotype is defined by Oxford Dictionary (2015) as “A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing” meaning the individual whom is holding the image idea may simply be making assumptions based on the perception of the other particular type of person that they have been given- this could be from peers, media and/or parental influence. An example of a Stereotype may be that all spiders are deadly, this is incorrect but it is passed on and continuously assumed as correct reality. When it comes to Australia, the country and its citizens has generated numerous stereotypes over the years such as (although not limited to) the Bogan Reputation (eg: That all Australian individuals flaunt their Aussie pride with southern cross tattoos, flannelette shirts, Holden commodores and VB Beers.) and concept that everywhere in Australia is the outback. This brings us back to ‘Beaches, Beers and Barbecues’ a stereotype that attempts to define a whole nation – in the case of the Bogan Reputation it shows the inclusion of the beer drinking stereotype which indeed may be an accurate part of Australian Culture as Australia is ranked ninth in the world for its consumption of litres of beer per capita according to ‘Amazing Australia.com’.
The stereotypes of beer drinking also developed from the cultural festivities of Australian citizens. Culture is the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular people or society (Oxford Dictionary, 2015) so when discussing Australian Culture we must discuss the customs and social behaviour of the nation.
Customs such as Anzac Day – A celebration in the loving memory of Australian troops who risked their lives in war to benefit our nation now – this day begins with Dawn Services, the Remembrance ceremonies and marches to commemorate the soldiers it then ends with men heading into the local RSL for a gambling game of ‘Two-up’ and large consumption of alcohol and to prove the stereotype right of course these beverages are indeed Beers. Another Australian custom is Australia Day – The celebration of Australia and its colonisation in on the 26th of January 1788 – This public holiday is a day involving hundreds of small and large gatherings and events throughout the nation; Parties, Fireworks, Days out at the beach and beach events, family Barbecues etc. Thus bring about the idea of Beaches and Barbecues as a way of celebrating Australia and using that to describe the nation.
Although celebrations like these and the daily tradition of Australian Tradies finishing of the day with a nice cold beer it is now being questioned that maybe this stereotype isn’t the perfect description of Australian culture –‘ Beer and barbecues are what Australians supposedly live on, but we may in fact consume more wine, soy sauce, and even books.’ (Broinowski, 2012) According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australians consumed 29litres of wine per capita in 2013 this is a very small statistic compared to the 93 litres of Beer per capita consumed in Australia also taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics thus proving the use of beer as a description of Australian culture still correct. Now bringing it back to the beaches and the barbecues:
Australia is home to 10,685 beaches which puts it…