What exactly is an Aussie?

I am 62 years young. Last Saturday at a wedding reception, we were seated next to a couple in their mid 60s.
Opinion

I am 62 years young. Last Saturday at a wedding reception, we were seated next to a couple in their mid 60s.

They were very nice people I thought until the gentleman asked me ”Where did your boat arrive from?”

Well! I was flabbergasted. I know that I should not have to explain myself to anyone but the fact that I am so proud of where my heritage originates from and I love my folks to the moon and back I decided to answer him.

I stated that my family settled here in 1950 and that I was born and bred in this great country of ours seemed not to be enough for this man.

As we were eating the main course, he decided to ask me what my tribe ate. He said he believed they ate raw meat and pasta.

I asked him if he ever ate anything but snags and mash all his life. He went quiet for a few seconds.

My family were fortunate to eat pretty well considering that there were six kids to feed. We ate everything from meat to pasta and veges and everything else that my great folks could supply.

We all know how difficult it was for our parents to feed us baby boomers. Times were tough for all of us less fortunate than others.

This bloke just kept egging me on until my Anglo Aussie hubby told him that we eat witchety grubs every night.

He apologised and said he likes to know about different cultures. He also told me in front of his wife that European’ women age so much more gracefully than other cultures.

I looked at him and replied that for the final say that I am an Aussie not European but have European heritage that I am very proud of indeed.

My moral to this story is that I wonder how the young people of migrants today are being accepted as Aussies if at 62 years of age I get ridiculed by an ignorant old man who seems to still think that only Anglosaxons are the REAL Aussies.

Well I have got a shock for you buddy! I don’t need to explain myself to the likes of you and as long as all new settlers want to assimilate to our way of then I say we are all Aussies.

Do you agree?

  1. Trish Daley

    I agree 100%, even if they are Anglo Saxon my question to them is where do you ORIGINATE from?

    • Debbie Bryant

      My answer would be – ‘it is lost in the mists of time.’ I am not big on family trees.

    • Trish Daley

      I’m not either Debbie, however although I was born here my mother and Grandparents were Irish.

  2. Libbi Elliot

    What is an Aussie? to me it is someone with the same accent as me and I was born here, but in saying that we have many many people who came here for every country it seems in the world to start a new life and if they are naturalized, they are just Aussie as anyone else in the country. I think we dwell to much on where people came from instead of concentrating on the fact they are living and contributing in this country now

    • Lorraine Ratcliffe

      An Aussie is someone, who lives here and loves Australia and our lifestyle. Accents are not an issue, new or old Aussies, so long as they love this country and live here in peace they are Aussie, through and through.

    • Leanna Stephenson

      I identify with oversea’s actors by their accents, I know in a few seconds if they are from the same country as me, we do have our own unique accent and if you hav the acent it means you have been here for at least a generation

    • Libbi Elliot

      go overseas Lorraine , it is not a case of spot the Aussie..you hear them, our accent is like no other in the world. But people should not judged on that I am saying how I identify Australian’s

    • Libbi Elliot

      By way my neighbor who came from Vietnam as a child has the same accent as I do, he is an Aussie. But I fully respect everyone who has come to Australia and I do not discriminate on accents ..I find them all delightful

    • Barbara Easthope

      I am a South Aussie and used to be mistaken for a ‘Pom’ by my accent when in the Eastern states. At my first job as a governess in outback NSW my boss at the dinner table on the first night came out with all these jokes about ‘Poms’ obviously directed at me. He had me confused as I was a 7th generation Australian, with a Tasmanian aboriginal ancestor whose blood takes me back to the dream time.

      • Ally Morgan  

        LOL! Totally agree with you, Barbara! Us South Aussies do have “that plum in our mouth”. I started a new job, and was asked by this young bloke “Which way did you come out?” I replied “Head first like everyone else, I imagine – my mother didn’t tell me had any problems giving birth to me” (He meant of course, did I come by ship or plane – or maybe via the Suez). I was known as a bit of a legend after that! I’m fifth generation Aussie!

    • Lorraine Ratcliffe

      I was only saying that, in Australia, a true Aussie, whether they have been here for 40,000 years or 4 years, their accent doesn’t define whether or not that they are an Aussie. The fact that they love it here and want to live here, in peace, as an Australian is! That, to me, is a true Australian!

  3. Robyn May

    Integrate, not assimilate.
    His approach could have been better but at least he was accepting not rejecting. Don’t get too precious and remain proud of your cultural heritage .. our differences are what make this country special.

    • Lee Horrocks

      Robyn, if this is the way the conversation went, this man was very ignorant and condescending.

    • Christine Chan

      Assimilate does not mean having to deny our own heritage, Robyn. The beauty lies in having choices and not following whatever it is blindly. Adapting and adopting the positives, a continual learning process and experience as we progress in life. Look at the fusion of food we have now. Interesting and enjoyable.

  4. Joan Pennington

    How rude .
    My friends husband used to make remarks told him his ancestors had to have arrived here from another country

  5. David James

    If you can whack on a BBQ and slap on suncreen and eat a meat pie and chugalug a beer and you live in Australia..you are an Aussie

  6. Lynette Giddings

    Subject matter aside….
    You contradicted yourself…. You chose to retell us your conversation with the gentleman wedding guest …then finished your rant with…. “Well I have got a shock for you buddy! I don’t need to explain myself to the likes of you…”
    YOU JUST DiD!!

  7. Deborah Drinan

    Well I used to get that same remark. I am English and so very proud – I came to Australia as a young back packer in the mid 70’s never went back. Married an Australian Hv a wonderful son who now funny enough lives in London but returning soon. I still call England home it’s where I grew up. Australia is also my home a place I love very much. And yes still Hv a very English accent can’t and won’t hide that.

    • Christa Caldecott

      Same here Deborah. When here I refer to England as home, and when visiting UK I refer to Australia as home. They are both great places but in different ways. My husband was born in Blackpool and I’m from Staffordshire, so both have quite broad accents. We came here in 1988 and are naturalised Aussies and my husband supports the Aussie cricket team. I feel duty bound to support the English team, so it’s fun and games at our house with having two Australian born grandsons and only me supporting the England team.

    • Deborah Drinan

      Christa I am like u still support England in sport and over the moon we won Davis Cup. I am
      also an Australian Citizen.

    • Joan Pennington

      In my case As for my voice It’s a case of You can take the girl out of Yorkshire but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the girl !
      Love it that I was able to come here in 2012 to live near my son and his family , this is my home now 😎😎even support the cricket !! 👏👏

    • Robyn Smith

      Joan Pennington my dad was from featherston in yorkshire & my grandfather was a miner dad came out here when he was 7yrs with his parents & sister they are all gone now & we are left to carry on the family tree here in australia

    • Joan Pennington

      Good tough stock ,just what Australia needed ,I admire these people who came out when times were really hard

  8. Merryn McArdle

    Unfortunately you come across idiots. You can’t change them. If you could, you would the only thing you can control is whether you let this hurt you or not. Sometimes is best to vent, then let it go. As a pal of mine says “you can’t put brains in statues!”

  9. Bonnie Hibbett

    Surely the only “real” aussies are the aboriginal people of Australia …

    • Owen Gustafson

      Australia was taken from the Aborignal people many moons ago, they didn’t bother to defend their lands even though they outnumbered the invaders. All Australians should be treated the same without this special treatment for one race of people, this was told to me by an Aboriginal elder in Kowanyama on Cape Yorke in the 80’s.

    • Molly Holland

      No we are all Australians! Born and bred here as our parents were. Tired of that old adage! It’s history ! Doesn’t matter what the colour of your skin is. We are all “real” Aussies!

    • Vivienne Beddoe

      Owen Gustafon you’re statements are quite incorrect. There was massive resistance to white settlement. Ed

    • Libbi Elliot

      Vivienne Beddoe is correct and when they first landed they thought that they were ghosts of past ancestors. History has shown us that no matter what country , the invader always wins, because they have more advanced technology than the local inhabitants

    • Jeannie Birch

      The whole of Europe has been invaded multiple times over many centuries, survived and thrived….please, let’s not be too precious over the original settlers of this land. We came, we saw and we conquered a couple of hundred years ago, let’s just get on with it and grow together

    • Libbi Elliot

      Jeannie Birch your kidding yourself, the difference being those in Europe had comparable weaponry , the Aboriginals were still using stone axes and spears, while The British had muskets, it was the same in the America’s, Native Americans were easily over run and the same in New Zealand. Unfair advantage

    • Wayne Ferne

      After reading your ridiculous comment Bonnie, I was just about to go off, then I read where you originate from yourself, that sorta self explained it.

    • Jeannie Birch

      Sadly Libbi it’s always been ‘might is right’ It’s a sad fact of human nature to take what you want by any means available.in Europe every country was over run by violence over and over it’s almost lost in time now how and why.It’s only in recent history we have developed a conscience about these actions in the ‘New Worlds’ But it is history we cannot keep punishing ourselves over it, what’s done is done, we just have to get on with it.

    • Rosalind Battles

      And if aliens ever do invade Earth, it will not be good for us, they will have weapons far in advance of ours. Technology is always a winner, you only have to look at the past and Jeanie Birch, Captain Cook was by law supposed to give our Aboriginals a treaty, that law is still current today and he never did. The British took this country by deception

    • Graham Jackaman

      Vivienne Beddoe I strongly disagree with you. He may have erred in regard to the matter of resistance but his comment about all Australians being treated the same is a sentiment shared by many Aboriginal elders. Many have said they don’t own the land, they are only the caretakers.

    • Jeannie Birch

      Ok …Mr Cook and co., were very naughty boys backed by a very naughty government (shock..a naughty, conniving, self serving government..thought they were only a recent apparition) but it’s done and dusted, please let’s not keep adding fuel, let’s look to the future and build a better life for all. We haven’t done so badly from such a rocky start, much better than most. That us until we are annihilated by conquering aliens!

    • Sandra Charles

      Owen i disagree the aboriginal people’s did try to defend their land ,thats what all the massacres were about ,but now Australia is a land of many cultures and we all should live as one Australians. Sandra Charles aboriginal elder Iman people.

    • Bronwen Bannister

      Owen…. Until you have perfected time travel & can go & “correct” history according to PC specifications…. Your argument is tedious.

    • Jeannie Birch

      So Bonny, what do you consider yourself to be? When does one have the right to call oneself an Aussie? Just asking

    • Alan Shanley

      Bonnie, that is silly. I get so sick of seeing that blithering nonsense. And the only real Irish are celts and the only real English are Iceni; all horse manure. In fact, in Australia the original inhabitants – also migrants from Indonesia – were almost wiped out by the next wave of Aboriginals with the task completed when the Brits wiped out Truganini’s tribe in Tassie. True Australians are those living here now, whether they were born into citizenship or chose to become citizens.

    • Lee Horrocks

      If we need to get down to the legalities, you are the nationality of the country in which you were born

    • Ian Allanach

      The first inhabitants of Australia were the Brits…read your history! The land prior was ‘land’…cease your stupidity and enjoy this wonderful country!

    • Cathie Holden

      Owen – “didn’t bother” – wtf – they didn’t have a clue what was going on and managed to survive their country for many many thousands of years before we invaded their country!!

  10. Roz Molyneaux

    This is the end result of newspaper stories. There are many chinese, and other races who have been here longer than most white people. You cant cure ignorance and stupidity. Wouldnt want him for a friend.

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