Believe it or not, Australian culture is nothing like the perception created by those cheesy 1980’s Hollywood movies and old Foster’s T.V commercials. Apart from having stellar educational institutions, incomparable tourist destinations, breathtaking flora and fauna, and sunny beaches, it’s also home to a unique lifestyle.
With that in mind, we’ve written this article that presents a quick rundown of the culture and lifestyle of the Land Down Under.
Is It Possible to Define Australian Culture?
To put it simply, Australia is a tapestry of culture. Unlike several other cultures, Australia has a dynamic and unique set of continuously improving values. When it’s about the number of immigrants or the ethnic diversity, you can easily say that it’s the America of the Southern Hemisphere.
According to research, 28.5% of the Australian population was born overseas. Most of these immigrants belong to countries like:
- New Zealand,
- Italy, and
- The U.K.
So it goes without saying that contemporary society has become a melting pot for all regional cultures that immigrants have brought. From culinary habits to music, you can see diversity on display in all walks of life.
You’ll find a wide variety of restaurants that serve modern and traditional dishes but have something to offer for immigrant citizens as well. The most admirable thing about multiculturalism is that every culture is present in an unadulterated form. For example, you’ll also find a supermarket where you’ll be able to get products that you thought you could only find back home.
This diverse cultural footprint also makes it easy for international students to adjust to the Australian lifestyle.
Aussies Eat their National Symbol
The vibrant multiculturalism also means that the continent doesn’t have a single cuisine. Lamb roast is as common as pho, fettuccine, or falafel. But the one quirky element of Australian food is the kangaroo.
In almost every restaurant, it finds its way onto the menu. Since 50 million ‘roos live and hop around Australia (twice the number of people), their national icon is also a common meal choice.
Their meat is often consumed as sausages (“kanga bangers”) or steaks.
They Love to Drink!
Australia ranks as the third thirstiest country in the world outside of Europe, according to WHO. Australians chug down 12.2 litres of alcohol per capita every year. Plus, there’s a plethora of wineries distributed all over the countryside and a raving brewery scene in the cities, so there’s no mystery as to why Australians love a tipple!
However, if you truly want to experience the drinking culture the country is famous for, consider getting a subscription to The Whisky Club.
Do You Know About the Outback?
If you looked at the map closely, you’d notice how a lot of Australia’s landmass is full of non-coastal areas. The major chunk of these areas is uninhabitable, meaning 90% of Australia’s population lives near the coast, while only 10% chooses to live in these tough conditions (rightly so).
The most prominent reason these areas are empty is that they’re extremely dry and hot. But for the people who love staying close to the wildlife, these areas add to the country’s unique identity. Moreover, the landscape of these areas is breathtaking. If you ever decide to visit Australia, a trip to the Outland has to be on your bucket list.
Communicating In Australia
Even though it would be unrealistic to generalise a country for its talking style, there are still some elements of the daily conversation you need to be aware of. Knowing these beforehand will make your exchanges with the locals less awkward and more comfortable.
You may notice that Australian humour is dry and self-deprecating in the beginning. They have an informal way of communicating, which won’t necessarily include pleasantries every time. Even when they’re assertive or arrogant, they’ll avoid being direct.
Once you’ve spent enough time in the country, you’ll eventually understand their easy-going and laid back way of communication.
The Urban Life
Like every other developed country, Australia has a booming urban life.
It has 90 cities, out of which 5 have their population in the millions. Melbourne and Sydney are metropolitans home to culture and art that you’ll find in several other megalopolises. Both of these cities host several sporting, cultural, art, and entertainment events that get attention worldwide. The lifestyle in these cities is as untiring and exciting as in any other big city around the world.
Moreover, every visitor on a trip to the country must know of the two integral elements of urban life:
- Sunday brunches, and
- Hangouts at coffee cafes
While pubs and bars are common in every city and are often used as rendezvous points, coffee cafes are used more often. So if you’re a fan of coffee that is passionate about the different methods of roasting and bean quality, then you’ll enjoy life in Australia.
The climate is pleasant, too. Almost all hangout places have a small open-air section. There’s either an outdoor section, or the staff will arrange a seat for you on the rooftop. Sunday brunch is also an added aspect of urban life. Several Aussies love winding down their weekends with a dining meet-up with family and friends.
Australians Love Sports
While the population may not take themselves seriously, the same can’t be said when talking sports with an Australian citizen. Whether it’s massive international events like the Australian Open and Formula One Grand Prix or their local leagues like NRL or ARL, the country is a paradise for a sports lover.
As you can see, the country has many traditions and customs that may seem strange to people from other countries. On the other hand, this open-mindedness towards diverse backgrounds is also why Australia has formed a unique culture of pluralism.
Don’t be afraid to ask the people around you questions about things you don’t understand. A huge chunk of immigrants part of the population can vouch for the country’s hospitable nature.