Customs and traditions

This subtheme contains clips and stills from the My Place TV series, teaching activities and associated student activity sheets. These resources provide evidence of traditional practices, events and behaviours related to the cultural groups of the characters.


  • The Chinese dragon [Episode 14 | 1878 : Henry]

    The local population brings in the Chinese New Year with traditional celebrations. Henry and Franklin contribute to the proceedings by launching their lanterns.


  • Ramadan [Episode 2 | 1998 : Mohammed]

    1:42

    Ramadan [Episode 2 | 1998 : Mohammed]

    Mohammed's family is moving into their new house, owned by Michaelis. It is nearing Ramadan and at mealtime the family is discussing whether Mohammed can participate this year.


  • The legend of Bloody Mary [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    2:15

    The legend of Bloody Mary [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    Minna and some of her friends play the game 'Bloody Mary' and scare each other with stories about what she is like. After Minna breaks their mirror, she decides to give the neighbourhood boys a fright by crawling under their house and making strange noises.


  • The Chinese house [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    2:53

    The Chinese house [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    Minna and her friend Adelaide visit Mr Wong's residence to give him some news about the change to a local law regarding Chinese migration. Mr Wong shows them a magic lantern that projects images of his family.


  • Night projection [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    2:39

    Night projection [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    Minna and her friend Adelaide steal Mr Wong's lantern from his house. They use the lantern to frighten the neighbourhood boys by projecting an image onto the tent the boys are spending the night in.


  • Making amends [Episode 15 | 1868 : Minna]

    Minna and Adelaide confess to stealing the lantern after Mr Owen refuses to return it to Mr Wong. Minna's father has her make amends for her transgression by working for Mr Wong - a punishment that Mr Owen finds inappropriate.


  • Food and chores [Episode 3 | 1988 : Lily]

    2:05

    Food and chores [Episode 3 | 1988 : Lily]

    Lily and her cousin are working in the family restaurant, creating rice-paper rolls. The rolls are tricky and delicate to make and need an experienced hand. Phoung is congratulated for her skilful making of the rolls and Lily is embarrassed by her efforts.


  • The card collection [Episode 4 | 1978 : Mike]

    2:48

    The card collection [Episode 4 | 1978 : Mike]

    Mike needs to borrow $50 in order to buy the carburettor that Ben's brother needs for his performance car. But no one in the family will lend him the money even though he is prepared to sell his beloved card collection.


  • Loves me, loves me not [Episode 17 | 1848: Johanna]

    2:53

    Loves me, loves me not [Episode 17 | 1848: Johanna]

    Johanna reads a letter from her uncle to her grandmother. She plays a practical joke on one of the Owen boys by putting a frog in his chamber-pot. Johanna and her grandmother visit the grave of her mother. Johanna asks about who her father was.


  • Speaking the language [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    3:07

    Speaking the language [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    Sofia and her friend Mareka are watching Professor Julius Sumner Miller's television science show, Why is it so? Janice arrives and meets Sofia's mother and grandmother. She needs Sofia to translate the conversation and Sofia deliberately tells each party the wrong translation.


  • Conscription [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    1:41

    Conscription [Episode 5 | 1968 : Sofia]

    Michaelis tells Sofia why he is going to the Vietnam War even though he doesn't want to go. They discuss what it may be like and his fears are evident.


  • Greek school [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    2:51

    Greek school [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    Attendance at Greek school is a common expectation for young Greek children in Australia. Michaelis is attending Greek school to learn about the history, language and culture of his ancestry, but his mind is still on the escapades of The Adventures of Robin Hood, a TV serial he is fixated on.


  • This little piggy [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    2:15

    This little piggy [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    Alice and her family are delivering food to the indentured convicts working at the stone quarry when they have the idea of organising a pig race for the half-day holiday.


  • A Greek garden [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    1:37

    A Greek garden [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    Michaelis and his father are working in their garden when Janis reminds Michaelis that it is time for The Adventures of Robin Hood on TV. When his mother comes to congratulate her husband and son on their work in the garden, she realises that the baby is coming.


  • The bets [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    2:53

    The bets [Episode 19 | 1828 : Alice]

    Alice is training her piglet Wilhelmina for the pig race but is unable to convince any of the local workers to bet any money on her. Freddie the bookie is concerned at the thought of losing money as most of the locals have bet on Oink, the favourite.


  • The christening [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    2:48

    The christening [Episode 6 | 1958 : Michaelis]

    Michaelis's father and friends are celebrating the birth of the baby in a traditional Greek way. The boys next door, who had bullied Michaelis and called him a 'wog', apologise and pay him a penny to replace his lost ice-cream. Janice shows her affection for Michaelis.


  • Courting [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    2:49

    Courting [Episode 7 | 1948 : Jen]

    Jen and her friends are fantasising about the attractiveness of movie stars and royalty and rating them between one and ten. The girls only rate Wal as a three or four, which makes Jen feel that her friends would not approve if she told them about her mother's affection for him. She realises the inevitable when she sees her mother's engagement ring.


  • Punting [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    2:26

    Punting [Episode 8 | 1938 : Colum]

    Colum and Thommo are collecting bets from their neighbours on horses in the 1938 Melbourne Cup. They present these bets to Mr O'Sullivan, the local shopkeeper. Colum and Thommo hope to win big in order to save Thommo's family from eviction.


  • The Funeral [Episode 9 | 1928 : Bridie]

    2:07

    The Funeral [Episode 9 | 1928 : Bridie]

    It is the day of Lorna's funeral and the procession to the cemetery is commencing. It is a tradition to celebrate the life of the deceased person by holding a 'wake'. During this sombre celebration, Bridie tries to console her sister with the help of Miss Miller.


  • Farm lad [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:15

    Farm lad [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam is escorted to the Owen farm as an assigned convict by two soldiers. Mr Owen introduces him to his chores and living quarters. He then meets the farm's goat, but is less than truthful about his experience with milking.


  • Milking time [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:53

    Milking time [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam enters Mr Owen's house through a hole in the roof, and is amazed when he sees his reflection for the first time. After failing to milk the goat, Sam has a difficult night's sleep on his new bed. He uses his ingenuity to dig hard ground.


  • Oranges and lemons [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    2:39

    Oranges and lemons [Episode 22 | 1798 : Sam]

    Sam is out looking for the farm's goat when he hears someone humming the same notes as he is singing. Following the sounds, he is guided back to the farm, where the goat is waiting. After leaving out some milk to thank an Aboriginal boy for leading him to the goat, his bucket is returned.


  • The encounter [Episode 23 | 1788 : Waruwi]

    2:15

    The encounter [Episode 23 | 1788 : Waruwi]

    Waruwi encounters a cow for the first time and is unsure what to make of it. After seeing some marines and a drummer boy, she returns home to Nana to tell her about the 'ghost people' and the cow.


  • Armistice [Episode 10 | 1918 : Bertie]

    2:57

    Armistice [Episode 10 | 1918 : Bertie]

    Eddie speaks with Bertie about how lucky he is to survive the war with only a leg missing. Sid arrives to tell of the Armistice that signals the end of the war. The community celebrates the end of war with music, dancing and games, but not everyone can be happy at this time.


  • Mr Wong's Emporium [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    2:35

    Mr Wong's Emporium [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    Evelyn, Edward and Freddie try to replace the fireworks. They visit Mr Wong's emporium to buy a replacement box but find they can't afford it. They then try to obtain some gunpowder in an attempt to make their own fireworks.


  • Governor's orders [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    2:53

    Governor's orders [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    Dan tries to compensate Waruwi for the loss of her dingo by taking a number of items from around the camp and giving them to her. Dan drums out the marines as they march to the point.


  • Chores and punishment [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    1:34

    Chores and punishment [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    Evelyn's brother Edward taunts her with the prospect that their father will punish her for being irresponsible about the fireworks. Evelyn needs to complete her chores by five o'clock. She is eventually saved by Miss Müller's generosity.


  • Cat-o'-nine-tails [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    2:39

    Cat-o'-nine-tails [Episode 24 | 1788 : Dan]

    Dan prepares to endure a flogging after disobeying orders and leaving his post. However, his punishment is abandoned after Waruwi appears with a puppy for the governor.


  • Cracker nights [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    2:47

    Cracker nights [Episode 11 | 1908 : Evelyn]

    Evelyn's family joins the other families in their community to celebrate cracker night with fireworks purchased from Mr Wong's Emporium.


  • 1,000 good deeds [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    3:00

    1,000 good deeds [Episode 12 | 1898 : Rowley]

    Rowley is working to complete his 1,000 good deeds so that his father will return to the family. He collects horse manure for the market gardeners and firewood for the laundress. He and his friend, Tom Müller, climb the tree to spy on the private school students who are practising to become soldiers.


     


  • Snakebite [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    2:15

    Snakebite [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    Bunda's father gives him and his brother advice on surviving a snakebite, and how to make a spear. Bunda and his brother constantly argue and compete with each other.

     

     


  • Fishing [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    2:53

    Fishing [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    At the creek, Bunda's father tells him and his brother to catch a fish. Each uses a different method of fishing and Bunda's method of building a small dam proves to be the most successful. Their father is annoyed that they are not working together.


  • Water [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    2:39

    Water [Episode 25 | Before Time : Bunda]

    Bunda and his brother Garadi are competing with each other to find the best method of transporting water. Bunda constructs a raft to carry the water down the river, while his brother carries his water on foot. Bunda's father then tells his sons to bring him something that takes two to get.


  • Dance-off [Episode 26 | Before Time : Barangaroo]

    2:15

    Dance-off [Episode 26 | Before Time : Barangaroo]

    Barangaroo and her friends are warned not to go near Mumuga country, and they discuss the nature of the Mumuga. To cheer up Mung they decide to host a cook-up. Barangaroo and Mani have a dance-off  to see who is the most worthy to carry the spear.


  • Victoria's family supper [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    2:53

    Victoria's family supper [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    Alexandra's father is talking with his Irish tradesman who is instructing him to hide a dead cat in the roof of the house for luck. Victoria calls her father for dinner. At dinner, Victoria's mother is talking about her 'at home' invitation and who has accepted. She pauses to check Miss Müller's arrival and comments on the appropriateness of her work.


  • Yabbies [Episode 26 | Before Time : Barangaroo]

    2:53

    Yabbies [Episode 26 | Before Time : Barangaroo]

    Barangaroo and Mung collect yabbies for the cook-off. When Barangaroo returns to the camp she finds that Mung has gone missing in Mumuga country, so she and her friends go searching for him.


  • Treasured objects [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    3:22

    Treasured objects [Episode 13 | 1888 : Victoria]

    Victoria and her siblings design a spell to ensure the family doesn't have to leave the house. They hide eight treasured objects around the house to ward off bad omens.