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The basics
Australia: Once you arrive

What's popular in... Australia? [September 2013]

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Following our guides to current popular culture in the US and the UK, Jess in our Australian office, tells us what 'thongs' actually means in Australian summer, and the current political news which has made world headlines.


What’s popular in the music world at the moment?

'A mixture of pop, R&B and house music currently top the Aussie charts, with performers like Jason Derulo, Katy Perry & Avicii among the forefront. Closer to home, Kiwi teenager Lorde impressed the crowd with an incredible set at the Splendour in the Grass music festival and looks set to dominate this year. Australian acts to look out for include artists like Vance Joy, Bliss N Eso and Matt Corby.'


Latest film releases?

'As always, Hollywood blockbusters are the most popular options to see at the movies. New releases such as Now You See Me, Elysium and Wolverine, starring Aussie actor Hugh Jackman are the most popular.'


Most popular TV shows?

'Along with the rest of the world, reality TV is still popular in Australia, with shows like X-Factor, Masterchef and Big Brother in their 1,000th series (or something like that!) American dramas such as Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad also have a huge following, though the delay in screening here does often lead to news stories like this about illegal downloading records being broken!

Domestically, Australian shows are on the rise, with the drama series Offspring making headlines recently for killing off leading character Patrick (and breaking hearts across the country at the same time). The upcoming election has also resulted in some great news/comedy shows like Gruen Nation and The Hamster Decides.'


Any slang terms or phrases to be aware of?

'Not to disappoint the entire world, but saying ‘G’day mate’ isn’t how the majority of Australians greet each other, though ‘G’day’ is sometimes used outside the major cities and by older generations. We do tend to say ‘mate’ a bit and ‘cya later’ is a common way to say goodbye, but it doesn’t mean that the person will actually be seeing you later! An important one to remember in summer is that ‘flip-flops’ are actually called ‘thongs.’ Australians also tend to shorten or abbreviate everything- even ‘afternoon’ becomes ‘arvo’!'


Biggest fashion trends?

'Even though it’s one of the warmest winters on record in Australia we still like to wrap up if the temperature dips even slightly. Coats and jackets, along with jeans, dresses, boots and scarves are all in fashion at the moment.'


Latest in politics?

'Australian politics has gained international attention lately, and not for many positive reasons. Our former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was defeated in a leadership spill in June and was replaced as PM by her predecessor Kevin Rudd. With the national election set for September 7th it’s likely to be a close call between Rudd and Opposition leader Tony Abbott.'


And Australians love their sports right? What's happening at the moment?

'Sport in Australia is always popular and the major domestic codes are close to finals season. In the NRL (National Rugby League), the Sydney Roosters and the Rabbitohs are currently top of the table. The two dominant teams of the past few years though- the Manly Sea Eagles & Melbourne Storm are likely to finish the season strongly.

The AFL (a uniquely Australian football code) is also close to finishing. The code is more popular in the Southern states and the top 3 teams, Hawthorn, Geelong and Fremantle are based in this area. In 4th though, the Sydney Swans will be looking to defend their title from last year.'


Not studying in Australia? Read the other entries in our 'Living in...' series for the UK and the US.


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