What Is This 'Mate' of Which You Speak?

Australian government gives immigrants a formal definition
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2007 6:29 PM CDT
The Sydney Opera House, one of the cultural wonders that may come up in 20 random questions about Australian pride for incoming citizens.   (Index Open)
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(Newser) – For its new citizenship test, the Australian government has provided a formal definition of the word "mate." Yes, as in "G'day, mate." A 40-page guide for aspiring Aussies, the brainchild of the immigration minister, defines mateship as the condition “where people help and receive help from others voluntarily, especially in times of adversity."

A mate may be a family member but "can be also a complete stranger," the pamphlet advises. PM John Howard has been trying to formalize matehood since 1999, when he led a failed attempt to insert a definition into the constitution. The new citizenship study booklet also includes background on the Australian obsession with cricket and other helpful information.