At a loss for ways to celebrate Australia Day in the US? If you don’t have Aussie friends or a community around you, you might end up feeling like there’s no one to share the joys of being from The Great Southern Land.
There’s no reason why you can’t take the celebrations to work and make everyone an honorary Aussie for the day. Otherwise, check out my guides to finding Aussie expat communities in San Francisco or across the US!
Disclosure: I won’t celebrate Australia Day on the 26th this year, because I don’t think it’s inclusive of all Australians, and it represents the beginning of all the bad things that colonisation meant for the Aboriginal people.
That, however, doesn’t mean that I won’t celebrate it on January 27th, along with the Triple J Hottest 100. I’m not adding this to be political or controversial. It’s just how I feel about it all, you’re free to celebrate it when or however you want to.
1. CONFUSE AN AMERICAN COMP
This one is great if you have a bunch of Aussies to witness your prowess with bogan slang. You can either take turns or get together in a pub or somewhere similar and embark on this as a group.
What’s more patriotic than celebrating Australia Day in the US by taking the piss out of Americans? The answer to that is nothing.
Here’s what you do: walk up to an American and string together the most bogan sentence you can think of. Basically one that you’d never even say within the bounds of our “girt by sea” nation. Keep a straight face while they look at you with a bewildered expression. Walk away or see how long you can keep it up before cracking up.
If you need some help putting something together, check out my blog on Aussie words and phrases that Americans don’t understand.
Or watch this clip:
Whoever gets the best reaction out of the poor, unsuspecting Yank wins. You should probably shout the winner a beer as well, just to keep things typically bogan.
2. SWAP THE BARBIE FOR COLD WEATHER COMFORT
Yeah, you heard right, I said ditch the BBQ. Hear me out before you start scrambling to shun this suggestion.
This time of year in lots of parts of the US is not pleasant. It’s cold, rainy, windy and in a lot of places it’s icy and snowy. So who really wants to stand outside on BBQ duty? Not me.
And even if you have a garage do you really want to suffocate from the smoke? Instead, go for something using Aussie ingredients, that’s delicious and even your US mates will love.
Get the recipe for Bundaberg Ginger Beer Pulled Chicken burgers right here. If you want to be super Aussie, slap some pineapple on for good measure.
If a Ginger Beer burger is one step too far for you, never fear, check out this recipe for Ginger Beer bundt cake instead!
Walk around saying “Bundeeeeeee” for a bit and you’ll get in the spirit in no time.
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has kindly given Bright Lights of America a pack to giveaway*! [This giveaway is now closed, congratulations to winner Phil Bourke!]
As a total side note, I had surgery in the US late last year so Mr M and his parents were nice enough to be prepared early and stocked up on the Bundaberg Ginger Beer to settle my stomach in advance. It made a huge difference to have a taste of home!
3. WATCH THE CASTLE
It’s an Australian classic, a movie that stands the test of time and transcends generations. In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and… aah no, that’s it… it’s the vibe. I rest my case.
The Kerrigan family first graced our screens two decades ago and they’ve had a special place in our true blue hearts ever since.
This is much more fun if you watch it with people from other countries and refuse to explain any of it. Just watch them. It’s doubly hilarious. Then spend the rest of the week walking around asking “How’s the Serenity?” and saying things like “This is going straight to the pool room” and “Tell him he’s dreamin’!”.
You can try the same with Muriel’s Wedding but I think it might be more of an acquired taste.
4. GET A PIE INYA
Nothing will make you feel like you’re back home at the footy or at the school canteen then a meat pie or a sausage roll.
You can make your own and there are plenty of recipes out there to help you do it, or you can bypass all of the fuss and annoyance of “soggy bottoms” by buying some.
There are some great Aussie-style bakeries around the country that make and ship classic meat pies to your doorstep, and you can find the closest one to you (and best) from this list.
5. THE LAMB AD
While we’re on the topic of food, let’s talk about lamb. Depending on where you live in the US, it can get pretty pricey and difficult to find.
But sometimes only a lamb roast will do to celebrate Australia Day in the US, so what are you to do?
First of all, convince your family/friends that you NEED a lamb roast otherwise it’s not really Australia Day. You can do that by making them watch this year’s lamb ad. Or go straight to 2016’s version, which is my favourite and I’ve helpfully provided for you.
Now get yourself to Costco or a specialty butcher and spend some of your hard-earned dosh on that leg of lamb. It’s only once a year. It’s worth it!
6. KILLER TUNES
It’s not a party without some killer tunes and we all know that the only place to get them is on Triple J.
When we were younger, we’d wish each other a Happy Hottest 100 Day because it seemed a little more fitting to us. Especially since we had to work that day. No beach for farmers.
Anyway, no matter the time of day or night, crack a tinnie, kick back and listen to the best songs of last year. Get your mates round and bet on the top song or where your favourite will come out in the list.
Dance till dawn and if you’re really brave, set up a kiddie pool in the house. Just go to the JJJ website and click Listen Live to stream!
7. TIM TAM SLAM COMP
Any gathering brings out my competitive spirit, but this one really speaks to me since it combines talent and wit with eating.
Get yourself a value pack of Tim Tams at the very least, and if you don’t have a gathering to get to, take them with you to work.
Explain the concept to all those poor people who haven’t yet had the good fortune to meet a Tim Tam or use them on a competitive basis.
When you inevitably win, let it be known that you will require the other participants to supply you with a replacement Tim Tam packet.
8. GREEN & GOLD
On any other day I’d ask if you were OK if I saw you in the street wearing green and gold. Or I’d stop and wonder whether the Olympics were on.
But on Australia Day, you can find your most patriotic clothing and wear them proudly. It doesn’t have to be too crazy on the colourful scale. A necklace or a tie will do.
Or, maybe your green and gold flip flops? Thongs for us purists.
9. ROACH RACES
This is here especially four our New Yorker Aussies. You know how some pubs in Australia hold races with the weirdest animals to celebrate Australia Day?
Well here’s the New York equivalent. Capture as many of the little vermin as you can and keep them in a shoebox till the big day.
Then create a little racetrack and bet on which creepy crawly will make it to the finish line the fastest. Personally I won’t be doing this because roaches are my worst nightmare, but I’m sure someone out there will be game!
10. LISTEN TO AUSSIE PODCASTS
My favourite thing to do, Australia Day or not, is to listen to Australian podcasts. It gives you a nice hit of Aussie accents and makes you feel like you’re a bit more in tune with what’s going on back home.
Comedy is my bag so my recommendations will basically be the funny ones:
- TEAM Effort Podcast with Ed Kavalee
- Wilosophy with Wil Anderson
- Ten Questions with Adam Zwar
- Bang On with Myf Warhurst and Zan Rowe
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has offered a pack of its (non-alcoholic) drinks to giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment telling me how you celebrate Australia Day in the US!
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to winner Phil Bourke!
Here are the T’s & C’s:
1. The prize is a pack of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.
2. This is is a game of skill. Chance plays no part in determining the winner. Each entry will be individually judged, based upon individual creative merit.
3. To be eligible you must leave a comment sharing how you celebrate Australia Day in the US.
4. Only one entry per person, but you can share this post with your friends so they can enter as well.
5. The giveaway is only open to those living in the US and is not transferable.
6. The giveaway opens Tuesday, January 23, 2018 6AM PST and closes midnight PST on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
8. The winner will be announced on the blog and notified on Monday, January 29, 2018 and the prize mailed to them.