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The Aboriginal Origins of

Aussie Humour?

Australian Humour

The true origins of the classic Australian sense of

humour and laid back lifestyle?

The characteristically dry humour and laconic wit of Australia is often thought to have been inherited from the white Australian stockman of colonial fame (e.g. think 'Clancy of the Overflow' or 'Man from Snowy River'). However it is far more likely that the major influence or source of this national attribute would be the many skilled Aboriginal stockmen who rode alongside them all over the outback. (Read on) This likelihood makes it clear that the Australian sense of humour, including its strong sense of irony and laid back delivery, is in effect an Aboriginal sense of humour. After all, great ('bush') humour and great skill at storytelling is a widely acknowledged trademark of Australia's Aboriginal peoples ... character traits they seem to so closely share with many of North America's native peoples ... particularly the Hopi indians of the dry Southwest.  Extending the analysis here, it could well be that the laid back, 'no worries' qualities often associated with Australians are also Aboriginal in origin. Too often the dramatic colonial encounters of the British and Australia's native peoples are described in terms of one-way impacts on Aboriginal people, whereas as is usually the case, a better understanding would be that the cultural encounters were two-way in nature ... with Aboriginal culture achieving its own lasting and fundamental impact on the colonialists. For reasons of cultural esteem, identity and understanding alone, it is vital that the many positive (but most likely still overlooked) influences of Aboriginal Australia on the personal qualities and values of Australians at large are in future more carefully & accurately observed and appreciated. - dropbearito.com (with thanks to Mark Plunkett)

"... And what do you think of Australia?"  

For nearly a century, at Sydney and Melbourne airports, this was the essential question asked ... always immediately upon arrival ... of all visiting models, pop stars, sporting stars, business gurus, Vegas crooners and disoriented film actors. In fact anyone classified as a ‘celebrity’ (hack or otherwise) as they alighted from their 20 hour flights.  And come 6 o'clock news time, every 'box viewer' across the nation (with bated breath) awaited the necessary answer ... "fantastic place ... greatest country on Earth" ... "the world's friendliest people" ... "I just love Australian audiences", and ... "it sure is the right place 'to film the end of the world'" (??) (* A famous remark published worldwide in 1959 and attributed to film actress, Ava Gardner, who was visiting Melbourne at the time to star in Stanley Kramer's 'On the beach'. She had apparently been seriously misquoted, the comment being inserted into a news story as a journalistic hoax.) For more selected quotes and observations on Australia, read on: Quotes on Australia ... and ... Defining 'Down Under'