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What is Australian culture?

About Thomas

I write because I can type. I can type because I have a keyboard.

I am a new age Australian resident that is experiencing this new continent with a fresh set of eyes. 

I write on a wide range of topics. Well, I write on food. There you have it, I write on a wide range of food as well. 

I see nothing that makes Australian culture distinct. Do you agree?

This week, I heard someone I often speak with declare: ''This is not our culture.''



Sadly, we were having a conversation about the same-sex marriage survey and the pending results. This senior gentleman was lamenting that the vote was likely to be won by the Yes camp and, as a result, we would lose part of our Australian culture.

Read more from Thomas: Death of the family dinner

Shocked, I asked him how. Without batting an eyelid, he replied: “It will happen, you will see.”

That’s was one of the vaguest responses/reasons I've ever heard. I was trying a bit to understand what he meant by Australian culture. Unfortunately, he did not explain so I looked to other sources to understand what it takes to grow into the Australian culture. What I found surprised me.

The dictionary defines culture as the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular people or society. It’s simple. It comes from years and years of societal evolution. 

Many stereotypes are formed off the cultural traits exhibited by a society. For example, the Chinese love noodles, Indians love rice, the Brits cannot breathe til they have a cup of tea. The list goes on.

But when we come to the Australian side of town, it's not so simple. Let’s look at a few things and see what these lean towards when we call it Australian.

  • Food habits – American
  • Hobbies and activities – American
  • Family values and support – British
  • Education system – British
  • Economy – American
  • So, if we are honest (I may be wrong here), Australian culture is an amalgamation of American and British values. Which is not surprising.

    After all, the Australians and Americans are best friends, and Great Britain is an influence for obvious reasons.

    So,while there is nothing in particular that makes the Australian culture distinct, this is a good thing because you are new. You are young and you are evolving your traits. Maybe in the next 50 years, you can say ''this is our culture''.   

    But no, you cannot say that the boomerang is a part of the culture. Be patient. Something will come.

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