OPINION: Aussies, Poms are different and yet the same

Derek GoforthMidwest Times
Aussies and Poms share a self-deprecating sense of humour, which is probably why comedians like Ricky Gervais are popular with both.
Camera IconAussies and Poms share a self-deprecating sense of humour, which is probably why comedians like Ricky Gervais are popular with both. Credit: NBC/Getty

We have been in The Land Down Under nigh-on 11 years and been citizens for almost five, and something I notice more and more is both the similarities and differences between the Aussie and Pommie cultures.

Let’s start with the differences — well, the weather.

Not that we can really call our vastly different climates part of our culture as such, it’s more how we react and use our different climates.

Australia is essentially an outdoor country, with sports, cafes, and play areas — everything seems to be enjoyed more outdoors.

Even our evenings at home — during my winter commutes home I must pass at least a dozen families gathered around their outdoor fireplaces.

Poms fare much differently in the colder weather, although it is sub-zero many days of the year in the UK.

It’s in the British summer you will see most of the people out trying to grab every ounce of sunshine they can.

Where in Oz most of us retreat from the heat into our air-conditioned cars and houses, Poms flock to the beach, the river or the park.

As a teacher with plenty of experience in both countries, I can testify to the fundamental attitude differences between the two places.

I believe a lot has to do with the weather, in a roundabout sort of way.

Recess, lunch, sports — any opportunity the kids have to be outside — they take it.

That’s not to say British kids don’t enjoy the outside, but the timeframe for enjoying the great outdoors is quite restricted by comparison.

Even the range of sports on offer and their uptakes is hugely different in the two countries.

But just as our differences are obvious, so are our similarities.

Thousands of kilometres may separate us geographically, but it doesn’t separate us in our love of food, mateship and especially our sense of humour.

Both the Pom and Aussie senses of humour are based on self-deprecation, having a good laugh at ourselves and our loved ones.

You only have to look at the most popular comics from both countries and how their popularity transcend both cultures so seamlessly.

Adam Hills, Ricky Gervais, Dave Hughes, Sean Lock and Carl Barron — all equally popular on both sides of the cultural divide.

But this is just the viewpoint of a Pom in Oz.

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