My sources

My uncle

My uncle on my dad’s side re-located to live in Perth, Australia some 30 years ago and he has also been the one who has helped me out a lot with this assignment. Since he has been living the Australian life for quite some years now, I trust that the information I’ve been given is reliable. Though, of course, there are still differences in how people live their lives, and so is the case this time. I fully understand that the way of living I’ve gotten described to me is just one way of living in Australia, and that there are so many other ways of celebrating things, so many other foods to eat and so many other ways to behave.

I’ve found a lot of useful information from these pages, and after having controlled the facts I’ve used with several other sites on the web I can say that they are relatively reliable as well. I am still aware that it’s Wikipedia though, and that anyone can change the information. Therefore, I’ve tried matching the facts with other sites and asking my uncle about them, and everything I got out of it has shown to be true, or as true as something taken online can be. I think I can say that no matter what site we choose to take information from, we can never be 100% sure that everything that’s said is correct. But I’ve tried checking my statements as thoroughly as I can, so I’m hoping there are no errors in there.

This is the site from where I took the information to compose my blog post about Christmas in Australia. It might not look that very professional, but after checking the facts it gave about how Christmas is celebrated in Sweden (which was very accurate) I decided to trust that the facts it gave about celebrating Christmas in Australia were correct as well. It also states (at the end) that the information was composed by students from a school in Western Australia and, assuming the information actually is taken from the students, I believe it is correct. I am however aware that the way of celebrating Christmas that I’ve described is only one way of doing it, and that there are so many other traditions as well.

This is the site I used when looking for information about the etiquette and general behavior in Australia. After checking their article on etiquette in Sweden, I decided that it was reliable and chose to use the information I found on that site to compose my post about the etiquette in Australia. I am aware however, as with all the other sources, that errors might occur regardless of this.

A site that I found after just browsing around the web for a while. I am aware that it’s not that serious, and I haven’t taken it that seriously either. I only used it to search for whatever prejudices foreigners might have about us Swedes, mostly for fun and not for actual serious opinions.



Home, sweet home

I am once again back home in my room in Västerås, and have had some time to settle down and come to terms with the fact that I’ve actually been in Australia, on the other side of the world! It has been such an experience, and I am so happy I got the opportunity to do it! Since I came back home, I’ve also had the time to sit down and read through the blog posts of Emma, Erica and Evelina who also has been travelling all around the world. I find it to be amazing that we’ve all experienced so many things that differ from our own culture, and that we’ve all managed to prove that the prejudices we might have about certain countries most of the time aren’t true at all!

To me, it sounds like Erica and Emma were the ones who got to experience the most differences from Sweden out of the four of us, seeing as they went to countries having a completely different culture from ours. Even if Evelina went to Ireland, and I to Australia, these countries are still quite influenced by Europe, whilst Jamaica and South Africa are very different. In Jamaica, for instance, the people seem very liberated in the way they behave and look at life. This differs a lot from Sweden, since we tend to be very controlled, composed people that are afraid of strangers and of doing things the wrong way. Another thing that struck me about Jamaica and Ireland in particular was the way they celebrate their holidays. It all seems so festive, like they REALLY are celebrating the reason for it being a holiday. Here in Sweden we never celebrate anything alike St. Patrick’s Day or Independence Day, the closest thing we get is winning the World Cup in soccer or hockey, which really is a shame I suppose, because we could celebrate things for real if we made an effort to do so! Something I also noticed was that South Africa and Australia are quite alike when it comes to having a big diversity of inhabitants, coming from all different religions and backgrounds. This has caused both countries to have a lot of influences from all over the world, and many different dishes to eat, as well as many different ways of celebrating holidays! It was also very interesting to read Emmas blog post about the traditions in South Africa, because I had no idea that as many as 80% of the people living there were Christians and celebrated Christmas and Easter! I have no idea what I’ve thought before, but it was definitely something new to me. It was also very interesting to get to know that the Irish people doesn’t share the same view of time as the Swedes do, and that they think it’s fine to come several minutes late to a meeting! This would be very frowned upon here in Sweden, since people would find it rude to be that late for an appointment. It also goes to show that maybe we need to learn one thing or another from other cultures, and not to be so tightened up all the time. Who knows, maybe that stranger on the bus isn’t trying to eat you, maybe he or she is just being friendly!

Signing off for the last time!


"I'm leaving on a jetplane, don't know when I'll be back again"

My final day here in Australia has arrived, and truth to be told, it feels very weird and wrong to leave my host family and all the friends I’ve made behind. I mean, we are hopefully going to stay in touch, but it’s not like they live a weekend-trip away. I’ve had the time of my life down here, and I wish my blog could have covered everything I’ve done and experienced. Although, I still have my memories of this trip and that is enough for me. I’ve also managed to do what I said I’d try to do in the first blog post, and that is to shatter some of my prejudices against the Aussies. Turns out, Aussies aren’t at all the stereotypical Crocodile Dundee-person many of us imagine (though, I did meet a few of those too!). They are the most laid back people I’ve ever met, and everyone seems to be so caring and happy all the time! And, they don’t eat larvae, which was one of the things I was most scared about having to face when I got here! Haha, I can’t believe I actually thought they did! Turns out I was so very wrong in so many ways, but the reality was so much better than I ever could’ve imagined! I am really going to miss it here, but at the same time I miss everything back home as well. I will return, someday, no doubt about it!

See ya' later, alligator!


"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle aaall the waaay..."

Merry Christmas everyone out there! I know it’s a day late, but I have been so busy with everything else surrounding Christmas that I haven’t been able to write even a sentence here up until now! We are on our way out to meet up with some friends of my host family in quite a short while, so I’ll just give you a quick briefing on what Christmas in Australia means!


Well, as you might know already, Christmas in the Land Down Under isn’t celebrated on the 24th of December as it is back home in Sweden, but it’s celebrated on the 25th instead. Christmas here involves just as much razzmatazz, lights, decorations and hype as anywhere else in the world, minus the snow. The houses are decorated with lights and Christmas-y things, there are Christmas stockings being hung up around the house (despite the lack of fireplaces…), the Christmas bushes are being decorated with help from the kids in the house… But there is no snow! It has been quite odd to spend my Christmas this year playing cricket and other games outside in the grass, rather than building snowmen or having snowball fights, but I do have to say that I can’t complain about it being 35 degrees Celcius either! And of course, when it is this hot outside, you don’t want to spend your day inside, right? Can you guess what the Aussies do instead of having their Christmas supper at the dining table in the dining room? They have picnics at the beach! Well, of course, not all families do, but my host family usually does that, alongside a bunch of other people from the neighborhood. We packed all the Christmas food in a bag, grabbed our towels and swimwear, and headed down to the seaside! Once there, we unpacked everything again, and I got to taste the most delicious meal ever! We had roast turkey, chicken and ham, gingerbread cookies, mince pies, shrimps and lobster, sweets and Christmas pudding! I’ve never been so stuffed in my entire life, it felt as if I was a roasted, stuffed turkey myself while I was sitting in that burning sun after the meal! And all of a sudden, I realized that Jake was gone. I asked the mum of my host family where he’d gone, and she said that “He’s off to buy the paper”…. Aha! It felt kind of nice to at least have some of the traditions I’m used to left! And while I was sitting there, looking out across the water, I saw something red moving in the distance. Squinting my eyes, I realized the red thing wore a red hat. As it got closer, I started laughing uncontrollably. Onto the shore, on a surfboard, slid none other than Santa Claus, dressed in a red t-shirt, red shorts and a red hat! Running across the beach in a perfect Baywatch-manner, Santa delivered packages to everyone and then disappeared on his surfboard again. I have never celebrated a Christmas like this one, but I haven’t had as much fun either!

I’ll talk to you later!

G'day mate!

As far as the famous phrases “G’day mate!” and “Cheers, mate!” goes… I cannot tell you how thrilled I was when I actually heard it from a real Aussie the first time! It was something that I almost only thought existed in the Hollywood-films, but the Aussies actually use it as a phrase of greeting, which (to me) sounds so… I don’t know, relaxed? It feels so much better to be greeted with that than by a simple “hello” for some reason, and I think that the Aussies have realized that as well! Another thing that I found pretty interesting is that Australians are used to using the first name of the people they meet, even if it is the first time. This might not seem odd to a Swede, but I know it does to most people from other nationalities, like England. Oh, and the BBQ’s! Jake told me that if you get an invitation to someone else’s house for dinner, it’s almost always for barbeque. Most of the time, you’re supposed to bring your own beer or wine to drink, and sometimes you even bring the meat you’re going to eat! When we were on our way to that birthday party I told you about earlier, I also learned something about the way you walk in Australia. As you might already know, they have left side-traffic when driving their cars, but did you know that this also the case when walking? Everyone always keeps to the left as often as possible, and while going in an escalator you’re supposed to keep to the left for everyone that needs to pass by. I found this to be extremely confusing in the beginning, since I’ve been taught to always keep to the right! But hopefully this will sort itself out as time passes, I just have to get used to it!


My host family is taking me out to see the Sydney Opera House in a few minutes, so I have to get going! I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!


"Don't worry... Be happy!"

You know how everyone always says that Aussies are the nicest and most down to earth-people there is on this planet? They couldn’t be more right! As I told you in an earlier blog post, I followed Jake to school yesterday just to get the feel of the day-to-day life of an Australian. But I got to see so much more of the real Australian culture! All the other students seemed so laid back and calm about everything, even the ones that had forgotten homework or assignments! Bobby McFerrin’s lyrics really fit in with the Australian way of living, which could easily be described as “Don’t worry, be happy”. And they’re all very polite and outgoing! Seeing as I was there as a foreigner, and one from the “exotic” (how is that possible?) country of Sweden as well, I got asked so many questions! And everyone said hello to me upon entering the classroom, I genuinely felt very welcome in a country so far away from home. Us Swedes have a tendency of ignoring people we don’t know, and the fact that we blankly refuse to talk to people on the bus or the subway feels so odd after spending quite some time here in Australia. And not to talk about riding on the bus! Jake and I went on the bus to school, and every time the bus stopped and someone got off, they shouted “thank you!” all across the bus. I started to snicker and asked Jake what was really going on, and he told me that it’s a normal custom in Australia to thank the bus driver for the ride before stepping off! I found this to be almost astounding, because it has never crossed my mind that you should do so. Maybe this is the reason why some bus drivers are so cross back home in Sweden… Hmmm….

All in all it has been a wonderful day, and I’ve enjoyed it tons! I’ve met some of Jakes friends, and hopefully we’re going out to the beach to play some volleyball this weekend!


Can you have too much to eat? I think so!

I’ve been to a real Aussie-barbeque! A friend of the family turned 18 today, and we went to their house to celebrate her birthday, which meant I got to try a lot of traditional and common Australian dishes that I’ve never heard of before (and I can tell you there were not a single larvae to be found)! Sarah, the mom of the family, told me that the Australian food culture has a lot of influences, both from England, Italy, Germany, Asia and South Africa but also of course a lot of influences from the aboriginal culture, the culture of the original inhabitants of Australia. I got to try out all sorts of things, and since the Australians are very fond of barbeque, I’ve tried all sorts of meat you can think of! Amongst them was kangaroo (which was delicious and tasted almost like deer) even though it’s not commonly eaten in Australia, but the family had bought some just for me to try it!  I also had rattlesnake (which tasted almost nothing on its own, I had to drench it in sauce!) which was a bit scary at first, but I’m glad to be able to brag about trying it! I also tried out a sandwich with Vegemite on it, which is a very common thing to eat in Australia. Basically, it’s like Nutella, only very much saltier and with no taste of chocolate at all. I did like it though, but I think it will take some getting used to! Oh and then it was desserts… I mean, how can you NOT love desserts? There were so many cakes and cookies and biscuits and… I think I was in heaven for a while! Amongst my favorites was the pavlova, which is a meringue  cake covered in cream and with different toppings, and the lamingtons, which are sponge cakes covered in chocolate icing and cocoanut. Both of these desserts are widely popular all over Australia and New Zealand, and I really enjoyed them as well! To go with all this, most of the adults had beer or wine, and the younger ones had sodas or lemonade. I even got to try out a cup of Milo, which is a beverage similar to the Swedish O’boy. Over all it’s been an awesome day, and I’ve met so many new people! It’s getting really late here though, and tomorrow I’m following Jake to school to see what it’s like so I have to get to bed!

I’ll talk to you later!

"I come from the land Down Under, where beer does flow and men chunder..."

I’ve now been here in Sydney for about four days, and now that my jetlag is gone I have managed to do so many things! Jake, the oldest son in the house that is the same age as I am, has taken on the task of showing me around Sydney, and teaching me more about the Australian culture. In return, I tell him and the rest of the family and their friends about the life in Sweden, and I can tell you that there are some pretty funny prejudices about Sweden! For example, one of the first things that Adam asked me (the youngest son) at dinner the first night, was whether we had polar bears in our gardens often or if they just come around occasionally, just as they have snakes. Unfortunately we don’t, I answered him, but we do have reindeers up North just like the ones Santa has! That seemed to get his mind off the fact that we don’t have polar bears walking the streets, but instead brought us onto the topic of climate. Many of the people I’ve met are astounded by the fact that we manage to survive in the cold here up in Scandinavia. I, on the other hand, am blown away by the fact that the Aussies survive in the heat that’s down here! They also seem to think that all Swedes are blonde (which many of us are), that we’re complete freaks about our health, and that we’re very quiet, friendly and almost a bit scared of being angry, and definitely scared about doing anything wrong! It was very interesting to hear these thoughts, and to share my own as well. We had many great laughs at some of these prejudices, and we shattered some of them as well! I will most definitely not see myself and Swedes in the same way again…!


I'll get back to you as soon as I can!


Arriving at last!

After 24 hours of being on the move, I am finally here in Sydney, Australia! The travel here went pretty smoothly, though I almost missed my connection flight from Kuala Lumpur and here due to the first flight from Stockholm being delayed… But I did catch it after running like crazy towards the gate, and I could almost hear the tunes of Survivors “Eye of The Tiger” as I did so… Must have looked quite amusing! It wasn’t until I was on that flight that I started becoming nervous. What about the family I was going to live with? What if they really are the answer to all my prejudices about Aussies? What if they do eat larvae and snakes and crocodiles for dinner every day? If so is the case, I can only thank McDonald’s for keeping me alive… But of course, it turned out to be the sweetest family I have ever met! They greeted me at the airport, and then we drove the half hour drive that it takes from the Sydney Airport to their home, right by the coast. I can even see the famous Opera House from here! The family consists of the mom, the dad, their two sons (11 and 17) and their dog, and they’re just like any other family, not the larvae-eating cowboys I had imagined!


I am now all settled in, with my bags unpacked, and my first day here has been amazing! Due to the jetlag though, I haven’t been able to do that much yet because I am soooooo tired I think I will fall asleep with my head on the keyboard soon! But before I can go to sleep it’s dinner-time, so I have to leave!

I’ll talk to you guys soon again!


Hello you, sitting infront of your screen!

What do you do if you want to explore an entirely new country and culture? What do you do if you want to see if all your prejudices about a certain country are true or false? You could do a simple research about the country in question, or you could take things to the extreme the way that I am going to do. Tomorrow, I am getting on a plane for one of the longest flights of my life. I am going to the land Down Under, to Australia!


I am going to spend a few weeks together with a family called Johnson in Sydney, to learn more about the culture, the language, and the way of living in a completely different country on the other side of the Earth. The flight is almost a mind-blowing 24 hours in total, so I will have plenty of time to get used to the thought of what I am actually doing. So far, I’ve been in some kind of denial about leaving everything that’s comfortable and safe here at home, to go live in a completely new country of which I know very little! But this is also a part of my plan in travelling there, because I want to test the possible prejudices I might have about Australia. See if they are true, or if I should re-make my preconceptions about the folks from the Land Down Under. I think we all have prejudices towards people, no matter how many times we claim that we don’t. If I were to ask you to think of a  French person, I am pretty confident that you’ll get an image in your head resembling a tall, skinny man with black hair, a bit of beard and a beret, holding a glass of wine in one hand and a loaf of bread in the other. Am I right? No? What if I asked you to picture an Aussie then? A man of average height, muscle-y and with a cowboy hat, with the accent of Crocodile Dundee, capturing crocodiles for a living and eating rattlesnakes for breakfast?


The point I am trying to make is that most of us have prejudices about a certain group of people, or individuals too for that part, no matter how much we try to deny it. When we meet a new person, we automatically register their looks and behavior before even talking to them, and making preconceptions about them. This is because we have matched a certain group of people with a certain way of expected behavior based upon how the majority of that group acts. As both you and I know, prejudices are far from always being true and many times you can find yourself realizing your preconceptions were completely wrong! Sometimes they are true though, but that is a whole different matter…


So, I am going to Australia. The plane leaves rather early tomorrow morning, and I can’t wait to be off! My bags are all packed and piled up down in the hall, so I should be off to bed so that tomorrow arrives faster! I’ll get back to you guys as soon as I’ve settled in.


my sources


 This site was very useful to me when looking for facts about Irish cocking. It had all the facts that I needed and the way it was laid up made it really easy for me to find exactly what I wanted. The site it self is an Irish travel guide, and because the whole site is devoted to spreading information about Ireland I find no reason to why I shouldn’t believe that the information is correct.

 On this site, I only used the poem about the Irish stew. I didn’t like how the web page looked and it hade more information about what the Irish used to eat, and I wanted to know what they eat now. One thing that I thought was good was that there was a recipe of a traditional Irish stew.

I think this site was great, it had very useful, relevant fact. It covered the four main questions I had about St.Patrick’s day. If I’m going to be picky, the texts could be a bit longer but other than that, there’s nothing to complain about.

I only needed this source to confirm what I already knew about leap year in Ireland. But what I liked pith this web page was that it had information about how the tradition started. has a lot of information about different weddings and that’s why the information is believable to me.

Out of all the sources I used, this was by far the best one. It was easy to navigate on, and had lots of facts. There were experts you could ask but you could also add stuff yourself, which made me a little bit suspicious, because I did not use Wikipedia because of that but all and all the information was relevant and the site serious so I decided to use the facts.


Is maith an scathan suil charad. A friends eye is a good mirror

I’m sad to inform you that I'm now back home in Sweden. I’ve had such a wonderful trip and made some great friends at the same time which made me leaving twice as hard. However, there are some things I have to look forward to! One of them is meeting my fellow bloggers again. We haven’t got the time to get together and share our experiences yet, but of course I’ve read all of their posts. It was interesting to se what differences and similarities exist among the countries. And here’s what I noticed:


In Ireland, Jamaica and South Africa, you can’t call people you meet by their first names. But I found it quite out of the ordinary to greet them with their oldest child’s name(plus ma or ra), which Emma told us that they do in South Africa. And just like Erica, it took me a while to get used to not saying peoples first names. But I feel that when everyone is so kind and polite it should be considered friendlier to call people by their first names, like friends do.

Similar to Ireland, South Africa is very proud of their country and its traditions. But they had more new, modern traditions which from what I’ve learned Ireland doesn’t really have. I like the fact that they came to the conclusion that you don’t only have to celebrate things that happened a very long time ago.


Australians thanking the bus driver when they go off?! And I thought the Irish people were extremely nice! After reading what Alicia experienced in Australia, I have to confess that the Irish are not even close to being that approachable. How are we going to come back to Sweden and not think that everybody is rude? From what I learned from her blog posts, Aussies aren’t as reluctant to talk about some topics which are really sensitive for an Irishman to discuss. And honestly, me being proud about eating lamb stew (which was, if truth be told really out there for me) didn’t seem that cool at all after reading about her eating things like kangaroo and rattlesnake.

 I found out two main things that Jamaica had in common with Ireland. The first one I noticed was that Jamaica had a similar point of view regarding time. And both I and Erica had at first a hard time understanding it. In addition to that fact, I reacted to that the Jamaican way of celebrating Independence Day is similar to St Patrick ’s Day in Ireland. But in Jamaica it’s bigger, wilder and more like a party. It would certainly have been fun to have seen!

The biggest difference between Ireland and Jamaica according to me was the fact that Jamaican cooks with groceries that they find in the woods. It made me realise that every country isn’t like Ireland or Sweden. Some don’t use as much technology like we do, but they get on fine anyway. It’s possible that they’re even more happy than other.


Välkommen till min nya blogg!

RSS 2.0