human behavior

Foreign impressions: the Aussie long weekend

Posted in Australian Culture & Politics, Foreign Impressions by humanb on October 3, 2009

Australians love a long weekend. Who doesn’t? But what’s funny about Australians, is their seeming apathy about the reason for them.

Australian: Bloody hell, I can’t wait for the long weekend!

American: What’s the holiday?

Australian: Dunno. Who cares? It’s the long weekend.

And it’s not just the individual Australian. The government-sponsored TV spots against speeding forewarn:


The department store ads proclaim:

50% off all sheets and housewares this long weekend!

In America, you always know what holiday is coming up. The average American works more hours per year than workers in other Western countries, and gets paid less. Moreover, he gets only two weeks vacation per year, so the holiday calendar is permanently imprinted onto his brain. He can tell you how many days he has to work until Labor Day, Columbus Day, or Veterans Day.

Plus, we love an excuse to celebrate. Compared to the US, Australian Halloween and Easter celebrations are a joke, and we Yanks take Christmas to the extreme. There must be holiday-specific colors, themes, events, parades, and heaps and heaps of merchandise.

We’re materialists, yes. But we are also memorialists.

If you’d like to know the reason for your next long weekend, check here.  Oh, and Monday is Labour Day in New South Wales. 😉

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