All You Need to Know About Culture and Lifestyle in Australia
One can’t sum up the term “Australian culture” or an “Australian society” in a single sentence or even a paragraph. From Haka to Opera, the Australian culture and lifestyle are a rich spectrum of diverse, unique and borrowed cultural motifs. As an international student planning to move to Australia for studies and work, you must have a brief overview of the culture of this continent.
Here, we are going to give just a quick rundown of Australia’s lifestyle and culture for those who don’t have any prior idea about this Oceanic nation.
Who are the First Australians?
Let’s start with the people who were the first ones to settle in the Australian continent some 65,000 years ago.
Commonly known as First Australians, the indigenous people are not a monolith. Both Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders are considered First Australians, and they further branch out into tribes and sub-cultures.
Spirit Festival and Yabun Festival attract people from across the island country. Such festivals are native cultural celebrations which are held to preserve the native Australian values. It is worth mentioning that the government and establishment in Australia now proactively work to improve ties with native tribes, which have not been that good-natured since the colonial settlements.
Initiatives like Mind the Gap are established to make sure indigenous people don’t have to face the inequality and persecution of the past. Respecting and preserving the indigenous culture and art of First Australians is now a priority in Australia, and as an international student, you should be aware of this development.
How can I define the Australian culture?
Simply, it’s a rich tapestry of culture. Unlike many other cultures, the Australian culture has a unique, dynamic nature. It is continuously shaping up. When it comes to ethnic diversity and the number of immigrant residents, it won’t be wrong to say that it is the United States of the Southern Hemisphere. As per the 2016 figures of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 28.5% of the resident population of the country were born overseas.
The majority of immigrants originally belong to the UK, New Zealand, China, India, and Italy. So, it goes without saying that the contemporary Australian society is a melting pot of all those unique regional cultures that immigrants bring with themselves.
From music to culinary habits, you can see the fusion of culture at full display. You will now find a range of restaurants that serve traditional and modern dishes but have a tinge of the taste of emigrant countries as well.
The best thing about Australian multiculturalism is that each of its cultures is also present in its unadulterated form. For instance, you can find a food supermarket from where you can get all the items and ingredients commonly found in the stores of your native country.
This diversified cultural footprint makes for easy assimilation of all those international students who have just landed to study in Australia. So, don’t worry because you will be welcomed and feel like at home in no time.
Urban lifestyle in Australia
Like any developed country, Australia has a thriving urban life. The country contains 90 cities, with five of them having populations in the millions. Sydney and Melbourne are metropolitan cities and home to art and culture that you will find in any megalopolis. Both these cities host a range of sporting, entertainment, art, and cultural events that get traction from all over the world. The lifestyle in these cities is as exciting and untiring as any other big city.
As an international student in Australia, you should know about two of the common elements of urban life there: hangouts at coffee cafes and Sunday brunches. While bars and pubs are standard in every city and serve as rendezvous points, coffee cafes are closer to Australian culture when it comes to socialisation. If you are a coffee aficionado who is passionate about details like bean quality and methods of roasting, then you are bound to enjoy your time in Australia as a student.
Since the Australian climate is pleasant-to-warmer, nearly all the hangout places have some open-air sections. Either there will be an outdoor section, or you will get seating arrangements at the rooftop. Sunday brunch is another common theme of urban life. Many people like to wind down their weekends with a laid-back dining meet-up with friends and family.
Have you heard about Australia’s Backcountry: The Outback?
If you look at the map of Australia closely, you will notice that a lot of its landmass comprises of non-coastal areas. The massive portion of this mainland is uninhabitable. Only 10% of the Australian population lives in those non-coastal areas.
The reason why the Outback is mostly empty is because of its extremely hot and dry weather. Nevertheless, the wildlife that these non-coastal areas host also adds up to the unique Australian identity. Also, the landscape of this barren Outland is breathtakingly beautiful. As an international student, a visit to the Outland must be on your bucket list.
Getting familiar with social communication in Australia
Although it is unrealistic to generalise an entire country for its conversation style, there are still some common communication elements that you should be aware of. Knowing this beforehand will make your interactions more comfortable and less awkward as an international student.
You may find Australian humour a bit self-deprecating and dry in the beginning. Usually, they have an informal approach to communicate that may not include pleasantries all the time. They avoid being direct while acting arrogant or assertive.
You will eventually understand the laidback and easy-going attitude of Australian communication once you have spent considerable time in the country.
Traveling is life in Australia!
The heterogeneity of culture and the fact that they live on a vast island continent, Australians consider travelling an essential part of their lives. It is common for Australians to live a couple of years in other parts of the world while working, studying, or backpacking. So, travelling is a common cultural motif in Australia.
All things considered, Australia is a welcoming place for people from other parts of the world. A big chunk of immigrants living there can vouch for the hospitable nature of Australian society and culture. As an international student flying to Australia for studies, you will become accustomed to the Australian society in no time.