Things You Should Know About Australian Culture

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Do you know that the Australian culture is a mixture of aboriginal, Western styles of living, Torres Strait and other Australian people? The culture of Australia is an amalgamation of different cultures and has its unique geographic and environmental features. From the indigenous people of Australia to the influence of the British culture, this multicultural society has evolved over centuries. 

From top universities in the world to cultural institutions, the Australian ethos revolves around the idea of a ‘fair go.’ It means equal opportunities and social justice for all. People in Australia value egalitarianism and have a strong sense of community and mateship. Interested in knowing about the culture of Australia? Check out this article curated for you! 

Country Australia
Total Area7.688 million km²
Total Population2.57 crores
States6
Popular PlacesAdelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney

Also Read – 100 Interesting Facts About Australia That Will Amaze You!

Australian Culture Development

The Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders people are the oldest surviving cultural traditions in Australia. Collectively they are known as Indigenous Australians. According to the Australian government’s survey in 2006, the total population of Indigenous Australians was 5.17 lacs, which was 2.5 per cent of the total population.

  • It was in 1788 when the first British settlers arrived in Sydney, which was initially used as a place for the banishment of prisoners
  • The arrival of the British changed the Australian culture by introducing English literature, Western art and music, and Judeo-Christian ethics. In time, the British Empire expanded over the entire continent and established 6 colonies
  • This gradual development brought in by the British Empire came into conflict with the natives. The historian Geoffrey Blainey mentioned that diseases like smallpox, measles and influenza brought in by the British people swept the Aboriginals of Australia
  • The first Australian political party was established in 1835 by William Wentworth, who demanded a democratic government for New South Wales
  • During the colonial era in Australia, various forms of Australian art, language literature, and music were developed with movements like the Heidelberg School of Painters
  • The British introduced games like Rugby and Cricket to the Australians
  • In 1956, the Melbourne Olympics where conducted in Australia was the first one to be broadcast on television. New cultural icons like dadaist Barry Humphries and the famous celeb Slim Dusty were given the central stage to perform and highlight Australian culture

Language and Humour

Australia is a constitutional monarchy and has various existing royal symbols, such as the monarch of Australia and his vice-regal representatives. Australia is a monolingual country, where English is the de facto national language.

  • Australian English is different from the British, American and other dialects, as it has its own pronunciations, unique accents, and vocabulary
  • According to the 2011 census, more than 80% of Australians speak English as their official language
  • Apart from English, other languages spoken in Australia are Arabic (1.4%), Italian (1.5%) and Mandarin (1.7%)
  • There are various sign languages in Australia, the most popular one being Auslan, which is the main language of deaf people
  • During the early colonial period, the convicts established anti-authoritarianism as an official mark of Australian comedy
  • Self-mockery is one of the popular aspects of Australian comedy where people accept what words others say to them and they respond in a humorous way
  • In 1957, a novel named They’re a Weird Mob was published by John O’Grady who looked at Sydney through the eyes of a European immigrant

Also Read – Study in Australia for Indian Students

Art, Theatre and Architecture of Australia

Australian art, theatre, and architecture have received international recognition from some of the major organisations. Although the Australian culture is largely influenced by the Western culture, the practices performed by the natives or Indigenous Australians are what represent their cultural tradition.

  • The styles inherited by natives majorly represent the landscape and history of Australia.
  • Indigenous Australian art includes dot paintings, bark paintings, rock art and sculptures. 
  • The National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales are major institutions where contemporary and traditional Australian art is kept.
  • There are several notable outdoor sculpture parks, such as the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery of Victoria and Sculpture by the Sea in Sydney.
  • Australian playwrights like David Williamson and Tim Winton have explored themes ranging from family dynamics to social issues. 
  • One of the prominent genres in Australian theatre is Physical theatre, which incorporates movement and visual storytelling.
  • Numerous theatre festivals are hosted, such as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, the Sydney Festival, and the Adelaide Fringe Festival. At all these festivals local and international talent is showcased.

FAQs

Q1. What are the important things about the culture of Australia?

A1. Some important and interesting facts about the culture of Australia include the friendly and open-minded nature of the people. People in Australia are kind and friendly. If you see a person in a public place and say ‘Hi’ to them, they will respond with a gentle simple. If you crack a healthy joke, they will appreciate your sense of humour.

Q2. How many states are there in Australia?

A2. There are 6 states in Australia: New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Apart from these 6 states, there are two internal territories; the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra.

Q3. How is the Australian culture influenced by the British culture? 

A3. From 1788 to 1901, Australia was a British colony. Initially, the colonies in Australia were established with the objective of sending criminals to live and work there by the British authorities. Later on, the British settlements of Australia began as a penal colony governed by a captain of the Royal Navy.

This was all about Australian Culture. For more such articles related to student life abroad, stay subscribed to Leverage Edu! 

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