Now that you have migrated either thru your own or thru a migration agency, adapting to your new community might be difficult.
Australians are pretty accommodating mates. What do we do if we get invited to a dinner or social get together? What should we expect and prepare for? How can we ultimately make a good impression?
Don’t Panic! It’s not as scary as a shark attack. As Filipinos, we are naturally friendly. I know we can wing it! But then it wouldn’t hurt if we get tips, right?
Listed below are some Australian dining etiquette that Filipino Migrants should know of.
Forget About Filipino Time
Filipinos are notorious for being so late. A 6 PM meeting time might translate to 7:30 PM with “traffic”. But in Australia, our Filipino time is not normal.
Please! Be on time when invited to a dinner. If invited to a barbeque or a large party, don’t be late for more than 15 minutes.
BYOB on the Barbie (What?!)
No, it’s not related to a Barbie Doll. With complex colloquial Australian English, we might get confused with their wordings for certain things.
For this instance, most invitations to an Aussie’s home will be for a ‘”Barbie” or barbeque.
Guests to a barbeque party typically BYOB or “Bring Your Own Beer”. In some cases, may suggest that bring your own meat.
Call the host/hostess ahead of time to confirm if he/she would like you to bring your own dish. Offer to help the host/hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served.
Sitting Positions and Table Manners
But wait! Before you start eating, make sure to be in the proper seating position. Some families might be crucial as to their seats because of its significance.
The most honored position is at the head of the table, with individuals of the greatest importance seated first to the left and then to the right of the head of the table.
If there is a hosting couple, one member will be at each end of the table. To be sure, just wait for them to offer you your seat.
To add, when not holding utensils, your hands should be in your lap at the dinner table. So no elbow on the table, please.
Everyone Goes Dutch
Yet again, another expression to figure out. Again, No. It’s not a derogatory racist term.
People oftentimes “go Dutch’” over a meal. This means that the bill is split equally, a common practice in some European countries.
If you wish to pay for the whole feast, make this clear before the meal to avoid unnecessary debates upon payment (*cue Dutch voiceover* You generous little lad. You!)
How much Tip?
Tipping is not always necessary but is usually expected at the fine dining restaurants. Tips are usually for about 10% to 15% of the total bill.
It’s time for your “Shout”
For the after party, you might get invited to a club or bar for a drink. It is very important to make sure you pay your “shout”. Keep your voice down! You do not literally shout. It just means that everybody is expected to pay for one round of drinks.
Basically, a treat for your new mates.
These are some of the customs of Australian Dinner parties. Now, you are ready to party!
“Where’s the Barbie mate?”