G’day Mate! - 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Australian Culture
By Dalia Albarak
Located in Oceania, Australia is often presented as the land of dangerous animals, marvelous beaches, and weird accents. But is that all to the grand island? Here are five things about Australian culture that will give you a more extensive spectrum of what Australia is really like.
1. Australia is one of the most diverse countries in the world!
If you’ve ever visited Australia, or you wish to visit someday, the first thing you’ll notice is the diversity. Not only diversity in race, but diversity in language, religion, and traditions. During the European colonization, the mass migration began. Irish and British settlers, alongside the Aboriginals, filled the land. But that quickly changed in the following years as World War Two took place. People of Asian and African descent chose to immigrate to the safe land of Australia. Currently, about 25% of Australians were born overseas. Another 25% have a parent that was born overseas.
Australians are very proud of their country’s diverse nature.
You may think that the mass migration has hidden true Australian culture. True Australian culture is built upon the great diverse nature that Australia thrives on.
Unfortunately, there is some truth to that statement though. The Aboriginals that occupied the land - way before the Europeans found it - have suffered a great blow to their true culture. They have lost a lot of people and a lot of information - even languages! There used to be 400 Australian Aboriginal languages, but grievously, only 70 have managed to survive today.
2. The oldest remaining civilization lives in Australia!
57,981 BC is when the Aboriginals first settled down in Australia. The Aboriginals have a rich and deep history and are often known as the ‘First Peoples’. Their remaining civilization still lives in Australia. But, unfortunately, it has shrunk in size dramatically, and there are only about 650,000 Aboriginals left. They have received horrible treatment by European settlers, in the past.
Luckily, they are much more appreciated and respected today. The Australian government is doing everything they can to pay back the Aboriginals and help heal all the harm done.
3. Australians eat what?!
It may be hard to picture, but Australians eat their national animal. Believe it or not, there are double the number of kangaroos than people in Australia!
So really, eating kangaroos is not only delicious - according to some - but also controlling the population of kangaroos across Australia.
But other than that, Australians enjoy a big barbeque. Nothing is better than the Australian summer breeze, and some sausages on the barbie! In fact, on Australia’s National Day, it is very traditional to have a barbeque at the park, surrounded by friends and family.
4. Maintaining an athletic lifestyle is very important to Australians.
Endless sports programs are offered to kids and adults across Australia. Their rugby and netball are like football and baseball to Americans. They love participating in sports, and they are frankly good at it too. Australians have a total of 497 medals in the Olympics.
5. The famous ‘Fair-go’
Throughout my time in Australia, they consistently have mentioned the phrase ‘a fair-go’. You might be wondering, what does that mean? Well, it’s exactly what it says; a fair-go. It means having a try at a new sport or something you already know but doing it fairly. So, everyone gets a shot at it.
This phrase is not only engraved into their sports life but also their everyday life! For example, on the 7th of December 2017, Australia legalized same-sex marriage.
Overall, some of the stereotypes that Australia receives are not completely accurate, but there are some that are. Like Australia being equal and reasonable, and it has marvelous beaches!
If you can, you should definitely visit the beautiful land of Australia!