Australian Culture: the Multicultural Societies in the World

Topics: Indigenous Australians, Australia, Culture Pages: 5 (1383 words) Published: February 16, 2013
Australian Culture

Imagine a place where you can start a new life, a place which also embraces and celebrates where you come from. That's Australia, one of the most multicultural societies in the world. Australia’s diverse culture and lifestyle mirror its liberal democratic traditions and values, geographic closeness to the Asia–Pacific region and the social and cultural influences of the millions of migrants who have settled in Australia since World War II. Migrants have contributed to almost every aspect of Australian life, from business to the arts, from cooking to comedy and from science to sport. They, in sequence, have adjusted to Australia’s tolerant, informal and well balanced society. What defines today’s Australia is not only the cultural diversity of its people, but the extent to which they are united by an overriding and unifying commitment to Australia. All Australians are free to express and practice their culture and belief and to take freely part in Australia’s national life. Meanwhile, every Australian citizen is expected to respect and endorse the principles and shared values that support Australia’s way of life. This includes creating a spirit of a commonwealth that embraces tolerance, mutual respect, and compassion for those in need. Australia also persuades tightly the opinion that no one should be treated unequal due to its country of birth, language, cultural heritage, religious belief or gender.

If one could draw a stereotype picture of an Australian, some people would picture an aweless with no understanding of authority person, whereas other would say that Australians are mostly law - abiding or even conformist. Some people, mostly those living overseas believe that all Australians live in the Australian outback or the bush. But there are also others that see Australians as people who believe in the principle of giving people a fair go and standing up for their mates, the disadvantaged and the underdog.

All people in Australia are animated to learn English, which is the national language and an important unifying element of Australian society. Generally spoken, English is Australia´s national language but there are some specific words and expressions that have become regarded as uniquely Australian through common usage. The utilization of these colloquial or slang words, often combined with an Australian sense of humor that is characterized by irony and a portion of rudeness, can sometimes cause confusion for international visitors. However, other languages rather English are also appreciated in Australia. In fact, more than 15 per cent of Australians speak languages other than English at home. The most commonly spoken languages after English are Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Mandarin. Australians speak more than 200 languages, including Indigenous Australian languages.

In terms of religious worship Australia is a predominantly Christian country, with around 64 per cent of all Australians identifying as Christians. However, most other major religious faiths are also practiced, reflecting Australia’s culturally diverse society.

Indigenous Australian culture

When speaking about the Australian culture one should also mention the Indigenous Australian culture. This also contributes to the cultural diversity of Australia. Long before the arrival of European settlers, Indigenous peoples had resided the Australian continent for up to 60 000 years. They had complex social systems and highly developed traditions reflecting a deep connection with the land. The cultures and traditions of Australia’s Indigenous peoples are integral to contemporary Australian society and go to the heart of Australia’s identity as a modern nation state with a rich and ancient heritage. In modern Australia, many Australians who identify themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander have both Indigenous and non-Indigenous ancestors.

Spirituality in the indigenous culture

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