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20 July 2012

The Aussie alphabet: L is for larrikin

So, Wikipedia says larrikin refers to a "mischievous or frolicsome youth" and larrikinism an "Australian folk tradition of irreverence, mockery of authority and disregard for rigid norms of propriety."  The Ur-larrikin was, of course, Ned Kelly, although I think there's a pretty big gap between irreverence and shooting police, which is the most serious crime of which he was accused.  He usually expressed his larrikinism by committing robberies, cattle rustling, the sort of thing that today might be referred to as hooning.

L also stands for a couple of other Oz specialties:

Lantana.  It's pretty, right?
1) Lantana.  A movie with Italian-Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia.  Also, and more annoyingly, a ubiquitous and noxious and invasive weed that grows everywhere around here.  My thought: "But it's so pretty!"  See for yourself.

2) Lunch, Sunday.  It's not that all they do here is eat.  But let's face it, sharing a meal with friends is one of the joys of life, and Aussies take a back seat to no one in that department. Besides morning tea and of course the barbeque, another mealtime custom is Sunday lunch.  It seems to be one of the Brit customs that has survived the colonial period.  Not unlike the Sunday dinners of my childhood, except that it's not preceded by church-going, and it doesn't always feature a big piece of dead animal, at least not among people with whom I've shared it.  Wikipedia says it's aka Sunday roast - but dead animals are optional.  The important ingredients are food and friends, and perhaps a nice bottle or two of wine.  Lovely way to spend a Sunday arvo - that's "afternoon" for those of you who don't know Strine.

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