Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tango and culture

Norman and Brian, aged 50-something Aussies, during a scene change, exchange impressions of the tango performance at Al Tortoni, Buenos Aires.


Norman: Spectacular innit.

Brian: Awesome.

Norman: Don’t say that, mate. You sound like your daughter.

Brian: OK. Well, it’s OK.

Norman: Now you’re speaking our language again.

Brian: We didn’t have music like that growing up in Oz, did we?

Norman: Yeah, we never danced, did we? Culture like that we never had.


Adopting the jargon of a different generation happens, but for a while it doesn’t ring true. But at least Brian used “awesome” appropriately, whatever we may think about its origins referring only to god-like epiphanies.

Beyond quibbles about lexical change, Brian and Norman are engaged in a serious debate on why Australians (and New Zealanders) leave their countries on culture-seeking OE missions. 150 years of European settlement in Australia and New Zealand isn’t very long to build a culture (Latin America has had 500 years). And the British, despite having a great literature, didn’t cook or dance that well.



Lawrie Hunter said...
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Lawrie Hunter said...

So did Norman and Brian (indeed) slip off for a coldie after all that culture? Must have worked up a thirst. Must have a thirst for culture these days. Might get tangoed up in blue. Tangoed up in a blue. Bluey and me got tangoed up right like.