This is our first post in a new series celebrating ‘THE MAN’ – the different cultural types of men in our world today and diverse concepts of ‘what makes a man’ in each region. I think you’ll find these posts informative and insightful. Perhaps you’ll see yourself in them and celebrate WHO you are as a man. Enjoy!
The Australian Larrikin is probably one of the most remarkable ‘type’ of man there is out there. Like the unruly brumbies (untamed horses) his forefathers rode, he’s wild at heart and hard to pin down, yet deeply poignant in his outlook on life.
His clothes are spare and functional – a functional yet well tailored jacket, a pair of tattered jeans moulded to his body and weathered leather boots. His hair is unruly and brushed back from his eyes impatiently. He carries a surfboard under one arm and a briefcase under the other. His laugh is long and loud, his humour twisted and decadent and he never takes himself too seriously. He loves deeply and lives fully. Muzzled by the city streets, he longs for the outback, for freedom, for big open skies.
He arose as a reaction to corrupt, arbitrary authority during Australia’s days as a penal colony. Not concerned with the opinion of other people he’s not easily intimidated into restrictive social expectations. Although he obeys the law, authority of any kind does not faze him, including whatever power or authority he may possess himself. It’s been said that Jesus could be considered a larrikin, for his non-conformity and his challenges to the status quo. He certainly stirred up debate then, and still confounds many today.
The larrikin is a significant element in Australian culture, infusing into Australian contemporary art, popular and youth culture and political debate. He has become the rage abroad especially in Hollywood because he cares NOT what people think of him but cares deeply about getting on with it … with Love, with Life, with Purpose.