BYO Meat and Alcohol BBQ: The Shame of Australian Culture

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How do you feel about an invite to a BYO barbecue at a private home which specifically states that you must bring your own alcohol and meat?

Is this a reasonable request or is it offensive ?

If you are hosting a BBQ at your home what is your general policity on the catering of food and drink?

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This topic brings evokes a child hood memory of mine. When I was eight years old a friend’s mother asked me to chip in “$4 or $5” to have dinner with them because they weren’t expecting company. Yes they were Anglo-Saxon and yes, it absolutely scarred me.

A few years ago I received an invite to a what you call ‘the great Aussie BBQ’’ that stated “BYO Barbecue- meat and alcohol”. Those child hood scars re-emerged. If the BYO BBQ invitation was hard copy I would have viciously torn it up but it was a text message. So the best I could do was just delete it.

Both examples show a complete lack of social etiquette and an almost inherent pattern of greed and slovenly behavior.

I am completely against the idea of a BYO barbecue at a private home. I can only speak within the context of my own country, but in my experiences and in the experiences of my friends these invites come from white Anglo-Saxon Australians only.

Saying that, I don’t believe that these types of invites are extremely common nationally. You will find that they are more common in predominantly working class to lower socioeconomic areas. You will NEVER get a Greek, Italian, Indian or Chinese person sending out such an odious invitation, no matter what part of town they live in.

I’m curious to hear whether these invites are common in other nations. I believe this type of greedy and unhospitable attitude originated from penal colony Australians and setttlers (originating from England, Ireland and Scotland) and continued by generations that came after them. The core uncouth belief system is “this $1 is mine and I’m not sharing it”.

If you can’t afford to cater, do not turn you guests into caterers!! Don’t have a barbecue. When I host I provide everything. That is the role of the host. There is nothing wrong with people bringing a special dish. It”s appreciated but you don’t ask for it.

There is no issue with people bringing alcohol to the event, it’s a nice gesture. However, it needs to go on the table or in the fridge with the other alcohol. I’ve seen Aussies bring alcohol to a party and horde it underneath their chairs so no one gets to it. There’s that historical loathsome greed again! Not willing to share! ‘

If you bring alcohol to an event, for example, a 12 pack of beer and you drink six cans/bottles you leave the rest with the host. Taking what you did not drink back home with you is slobby low grade behavior UNLESS the host specifically tells you to take it home because they will never drink it.

Even if I did turn up to one of these ghastly barbecues, what I want to know is how do we monitor whose meat is whose? Do we cook the meat that we bring ourselves or does it all get thrown onto the barbecue at the same time? If it’s all cooked together how do I identify my beautiful grass fed King Island Sirloin from the cheap supermarket rubbish that other people have brought? Do we stick colored tooth picks into the meat that we bring for identification purposes? Seriously, I am trembling with rage as I type this.

I am a Greek-Australian. I was raised according to the ethos of Mediterranean European culture (which obviously extends to so many other cultures too). You invite people over to eat, you provide everything and you feed them well. You feed them so damn well that they will fondly remember the great food and the fine party that you hosted. There is pride in that. People that turn their guests into caterers should hang their heads in shame. That’s the irony: These BYO meat and alcohol culprits don’t even realize that they have something to be ashamed about.

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6 comments

  1. @silviamoreno Thanks for sharing that story. I can see how traumatizing that would have been. I actually would have taken it personally. Inviting someone over for dinner and then expecting them to pay for the pizza that she said WOULD BE PROVIDED FOR !! So there is a lie in there as well as poor hosting. Yes a difference in culture, but its a cultural difference that I can never approve of whhich is why I will never attend these type of functions.

  2. However , I didn’t mind since it was a friend I valued and didnt take it personally as the company and comraderie was more important than the food or alcohol , Just a matter of cultural differences,
    It was an enjoyeable night neverthe less and had fun with friends .

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    1. @silviamoreno Thanks for sharing that story. I can see how traumatizing that would have been. I actually would have taken it personally. Inviting someone over for dinner and then expecting them to pay for the pizza that she said WOULD BE PROVIDED FOR !! So there is a lie in there as well as poor hosting. Yes a difference in culture, but its a cultural difference that I can never approve of whhich is why I will never attend these type of functions

  3. I was recently invited to someone’s home for a party and Dinner , . The hostess was Australian , She asked everybody to bring their own drinks , and dinner would be provided , It turned out that She ordered pizzas and we all had to pay for our own pizza,., Nothing really was provided at all , Just a few beer nuts etc on the coffee table ,
    For me , if i had a dinner party , i would provide everything or not have it at all , I’m European , though .

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