Australian culture is best described as western culture with strong influences from both Britain and the USA. However, it is certainly unique too due to an ancient Aboriginal culture and other smaller cultures that derive from nearby Papua New Guinea. Another big factor that shapes the culture is the vast and often harsh landscape coupled with a hot climate. This gives rise to a surfing California type lifestyle in the coastal regions as well as the hardened rural and outback lifestyle in the more central regions of the country. With fewer than three persons per km2, it is amazing that Australia is also one of the world's most urbanised societies where the vast majority of people reside in a small number of coastal cities and satellite towns while the rest of Australia is almost empty of people.
British colonisation of Australia began in 1788 when the country was initially used as a penal colony for Britain. Shortly after, migrants from Britain came looking for better opportunites and many convicts also chose to stay when they had served their sentences. Even today, British migration still provides the biggest group of immigrants. A period of mass European migration also ensued after WWII. The result is over 90% of Australia's population being classified as British or European decent. Howerver, given Australia's close proximity to Asia, many Asians have established themselves too, giving rise to a multicultural melting pot from Europe and Asia. Today there is a diverse set of lifestyles, cultural practices, and food dishes that are now part of mainstream Australia. Read more →
It is believed that the Aboriginal people of Australia arrived on the continent as far back as 65,000 years ago. With just over 200 years of European migration, modern Australia is but a blip on the radar in this ancient land. In fact, the indigenous cultures of Australia are the most ancient surviving cultures in the world. This is partly attributed to the ability to adapt and change to Australia's harsh conditions, while the continents isolation hindered other cultures from migration or invasion. This ancient culture contains knowledge that has been preserved through rituals, art, and music which have been passed to each generation for thousands of years. Read more →
Australians love sport. Cricket is the popular summer sport and both Rugby, Union and League, as well as Aussie Rules are popular in winter. Soccer is also a big game, but is not the dominant sport as it is in Europe and South America. Australians excel at water sports due to living close to the sea. The country does exceedingly well in both surfing and swimming and often times dominate competitions in water sports. Read more →