There’s an estimated 250,000 Lebanese in Australia and for some reason, we need some major PR for our image there. Aside from the generally bad reputation there, there are many unique qualities that only Lebanese in Australia can relate to!
You Know You’re Lebanese in Australia When…
#1 National Rugby League
You know you’re Lebanese when the biggest family event of the year is the NRL (National Rugby League) Grandfinals. Sometimes tearing families apart – see 2004 NRL Grand final Bulldogs V Roosters.
#2 Lebanese swimming lessons
You know you’re Lebanese when your dad teaches you how to swim by throwing you in the water in the 50m pool at Enfield Pools at 5 years old and says “swim if you want to live”. Or Canterbury pools if you’re a South Westie.
#3 Mum’s responses
You know you’re Lebanese when your mum says “men shoof” to every question you ask but really it means no chance. Ever.
#4 Lebanese father stories
You know you’re Lebanese when you can never measure up to your parents because they lived the most inspiring lives. Famous Lebanese father proverb – “When I was your age (18 years old) I was 20” or “I used to walk 70 kilometres and ride a goat then swim through crocodile infested waters to get to school” even though we all know there are no crocs in Leb.
#5 Phone calls with mum
You know you’re Lebanese when 90% of a phone call with your mum consists of her saying “OKEH YALLA YALLA BYE HABIBE, OKAY HABIBE YALLA BYE BYE YALLA BYE”
#6 Phone calls with distant relatives
You know you’re Lebanese when your mum calls you over the phone to speak to some distant relative in Lebanon and you start reflecting on all the bad things you’ve ever done in life to deserve this punishment while you relentlessly plead for mercy as your approach the telephone.
#7 Labneh Sandwich vs. Vegemite Sandwich
You know you’re Lebanese when you have a khayara and Labneh ‘sandwiche’ and your friends are eating Nutella and Vegemite sandwiches.
#8 Lebanese Politics
You know you’re Lebanese when you know more about the politics of the Civil War in Lebanon than you do about Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnball combined. Oh, and that Shorten guy…
#9 Infamous Lebanese age
You know you’re Lebanese when you realise 24 years of age equates to 54 years of age according to Lebanese measurements of time. You should really be applying for a pension after 25…
#10 Economic contribution of German cars
You know you’re Lebanese when the community contributes to at least 80% of BMW and Mercedes yearly gross profit margins. Also knowing that for every 5 AMG Audis you saw on the Anzac bridge at least 4 of them would be financed by a Khalil, Tony or Abz.
#11 Lebanese music
You know you’re Lebanese when the anthem of your teenage years was “Rooh sheflak job” and/or “Allah Aleik ya Seedi” Alex K remix.
#12 Those Facebooks comments
You know you’re Lebanese when your extended family comment on all your pictures on Facey with “Ktir wowwwww” or your cousin’s father’s brother’s neighbour comments “love heart eyes emoji” on a pic of you and your friends and you have to explain to Susan who that creepy man is.
#13 Garlic addiction
You know you’re Lebanese when you can open up your fridge at any point in the year and see stacks on stacks on stacks of Toum (garlic)
#14 The Footy Show
You know you’re Lebanese when laugh so hard whilst watching The Footy Show that the grenades nearly fall out of your pockets…
#15 Identity crisis
You know you’re Lebanese when you holiday in Lebanon and they refer to you as the “Australiye” and back home they call you the “Leb”.
#16 Holidays in Lebanon
You know you’re Lebanese Australian when you holiday in Lebanon and the locals immediately know you’re from Australia by your rugby shorts and Havaianas thongs.