Australian Social Customs for Indian migrants

When pick pockets, petty thieves and murderers built a nation, contrary to any logical assumptions, the values upheld were fairness, respect and responsibility. Over the blood and bones of the local aboriginal population, the young Australia carried its distinct frills and fringes. The land of opportunities evolved to be better known as the lucky country.  It is lucky for a reason. The hardworking nature of its people, yet amazingly carried a laid back life style.

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions rate Australia as highly individualistic, masculine, pragmatic and low in power distance. Australians tend to reason from an objective perspective. Individualism only adds colour to the no nonsense approach. Australians are generally open-minded and trusting until someone gives a reason not to.  Rules and regulations are followed by the book. No wonder the low-level of corruption is only a by-product.

Australians are well-known for being friendly, yet able to build a fortress of privacy around them. Life style is laid back, pays high taxes and expects the Government to take care of them when they are in distress, financially or otherwise.

Convicts never had any class, so a class less society is the norm. Emphasis is on one’s ability and equality is the mantra , so generally no one expects privileges associated with formal rank.

Work place and corporate environment in Australia

Full names are used for first greetings in Australia. Australians are quick to go to first name basis. You may address your superiors with their first name, once you get familiar. ‘Sir’ is an address of respect, but reserve it for those knighted by the queen or to address customers and clients. Mate will be heard more often than ‘Sir’ in Australia. It refers to anyone of one’s own sex. Woman also refers to other woman as mate.

Academic or job related titles don’t carry much of an importance or respect in Australia. You have to earn your respect. A local carpenter may command more respect, if he found to be a great ‘mate’ than a top-level executive of a multinational. Always remember, it is a classless society. But among the Indian community in Australia, you may find many cartoon figures; boasting about their long list of qualifications and making themselves look like jokers.

Dress code

The dress is generally informal in Australia. Australians usually dress down. Business dress is conservative and Men may wear a dark suit and tie and woman skirt and blouse or a dress. Invitations for events or parties may carry dress code descriptions like street wear, casual, smart casual, business casual, business formal or cocktail suit. Don’t be scared by it.

Street Wear:

This  is the dress you wear for going to beach or market. For men, a short with a T shirt and woman a short skirt , flip-flops and a top with appropriate changes for winter and summer.

 Casual wear

A pant or jeans , with a T –shirt and a pair shoes best fits the bill.

Business Casual:

This dress code includes a pair of casual shoes, a casual pant, and a polo shirt (with collar)

Smart Casual:

For men it include a jean or any kinds of casual pants along with a T-short, a polo shirt or a casual shirt. A casual shirt is a kind of slim-fit shirt with that is comfortable and designed to be wore with a jean. You may have snickers or a pair of casual shoes on. For women it can include any presentable type of clothing such as a long-enough skirt, jeans and casual shoes.

Business Formal:

 A business shirt, business pant and a pair of business shoes. Ties and coats are not necessary unless you have to meet with clients. For women it is usually high-heel shoes, skirt and a coat.

Cocktail Suit

Black Tie: you must have a black suit (which is special to Cocktail Suit) with a white shirt and a bow tie. For women it includes a long black skirt, black coat and white shirt.

General Australian Characteristics

Australians do not make unannounced visits, so always make sure that you  call ahead. Australians do not find it difficult to say ‘no’. So don’t feel bad if you have to put up with a ‘no’. Australians are so direct and open.
Australians do not invite strangers to their homes. They first take their time to get to know the person. Australians value privacy.
Australia is a sports loving nation. Footy (Australian rules football) is a passion . Italians are addicted to soccer and everyone carries a bit of cricket fever. Naturally sports is a good conversation topic, needless to say, weather comes first with complete strangers. Melbourne weather with its dilly dallying nature gives a lot of matter to talk about.

And Finally

In Australia
If you are invited to a party and the host asked you to bring a plate, this means to bring a dish of food to share. If you are unsure, what to bring, ask the host.  Don’t make yourself look like an idiot by bringing an empty plate for you to eat.

Australian Facts
In 1908, there were only about 4000 people of European descend in the Northern Territory. Hi Everybody !

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