Everyone is referred to as a mate. We may have never met, we may be worst enemies, we may be firing them for sleeping with our partner at the Xmas party, but we will refer to each other as mate.
This achieves many things:
- We don’t have to remember everyone’s names (or nicknames),
- We can say something incredibly insulting and have it taken as a joke,
- We can use it to be more passive aggressive, which really riles people up,
- We can pretend there is a level of egalitarianism about our society,
- And the egalitarianism displayed allows us to utilise Tall Poppy Syndrome.
These points are underlying cultural values that Australia holds dear. We love being able to get along with people and insult our friends.
This post originally appeared on Quora.