Culture, Way of Life.

Culture, way of life.

Culture is different to many people around the world. It can be how and where you live, the clothes you wear, what you eat, the music you listen to and much more. It can be a particular society with different art and manners. Culture can be behavior and characteristics of a social group or organization. Culture is any and every way that people of a group (family, tribe, nation etc…) interact with each other. It is the internality of the distinct ways of their interaction that we can call the culture of their ways. Not to discount of course how their culture dictates their interactions with those outside of themselves.

Ive found culture to be “fluidic” if that is the right word, it changes over time, one generation practices a set of traditions passed down then the next practices a slight variant and then the next generation changes it again or the group decides to change it all together.
Our cultural environment helps us to develop our identity. It gives us our customs and traditions that provide continuity from one generation to the next and help to determine a more cohesive society in which we share common values and principles.

Due to our history in Australia it could argued that our culture is primarily British and European, however the fact that the first settlers were convicts meant that they were at the lower end of society and so did not bring with them all that much ???British Culture??™. A web site called Convict Creations (www.convictcreations.com) created by an American, is dedicated to explaining Australia??™s culture through the fact that we began as convicts, the opening line says, ???Australians are odd people who seem to have turned the principles of culture upside down. They despise their politicians and academics??¦ yet, celebrate long dead horses and bushrangers.??™ On reading this information, I had to laugh. Although sounding very tongue-in-cheek, most of it is true. The Australian culture is to hate Politicians; we do celebrate Phar Lap, the unbeatable horse that was star of the Melbourne Cup (a horse race that my home state of Victoria has a public holiday for); and offcourse the infamous bushranger Ned Kelly. The site goes on to say, ???They are forgetful in the words of their national anthem??¦ however, it would be wrong to say they are not patriotic as a song about a suicidal sheep thief seems to instil them with a great deal of pride.??™ Waltzing Matilda, the song that everyone would prefer as our national anthem, is, as stated, about a swagman whom had stolen a sheep and ends up killing himself in a billabong (a water hole) rather then going to jail. A song I have grown up with and only today thought exactly about the words I was singing!

In most western countries the population is made up of hundreds of different cultural backgrounds. By maintaining their ancestral culture and blending its traditions with those of the broader society, we evolve into an interesting cultural melting pot that gives us access to a diverse range of beliefs, customs, traditions, music, dance, cuisine, art. Literature etc??¦ and hopefully makes us more tolerant and appreciative of others. Any particular culture would be nearly impossible to teach in schools, as one persons culture is defined by not only their place of living or the people around them, but also by their values and beliefs. Cultures can be grouped by some defining characteristics, but even within cultural groups will be many sub-cultures. It would be more beneficial to teach in schools an understanding of what defines someones culture to gain greater acceptance of the differences between individuals and how we can live together in spite of that.

The Aussie man, blond hair, scruffy, working on the land, dirty face, beer can in one hand ??“ he??™s got a ???hard earned thirst, that needs a big cold beer, and the best cold beer is Vic??™! A classic advertisement for our most popular beer: VB (Victoria Bitter). If you are thinking, ???what about Fosters??™ Well, Fosters is enjoyed most places in the world, except Australia. There are however some traits of the stereotype that I believe are Australian. Traits that I have only noticed being away from home and therefore being able to compare. The tough guy, laid-back, jokes around a lot.

Something that is truly Australian culture is the love of Sport. Not only our much beloved Aussie Rules but cricket, tennis, rugby, soccer, swimming and basically anything that is outdoors and active. As mentioned earlier, the state of Victoria has an annual public holiday for a horse race! In some instances, as shown above, the stereotype or the quirky facts are true, however there is a lot portrayed in the media about Australia that we generally completely cringe at. The famous line, ???G??™day mate, How ???bout we put a shrimp on the barbie??™. What is wrong with this statement Firstly, I am almost certain an American created it; secondly, Australians don??™t cook shrimps on the BBQ, and thirdly, it??™s not a shrimp, it??™s a prawn!

If there??™s one thing I don??™t like about Australians it is the presence of the Tall Poppy Syndrome. Something that is relatively unknown out of Australia, as we created it. The syndrome is the act of pulling someone down when they are on top. The origins of such a syndrome are from another cultural attitude that is to support the underdog. This however often means that the person or team whom are winning is now disliked. Whether it is sport or business, Australians spend years congratulating someone or a team for trying to succeed, then when they are finally on top, the public and the media can??™t wait to bring them back down again.

Australia has been described as having ???less culture then in a tub of yoghurt??™, a comment referring to the country??™s age in terms of white settlement. Yes, culture in the traditional sense is not so distinct in Australia but I believe we do have a lot of culture though it more to do with attitude and lifestyle then history and tradition. After spending time abroad in the past the general feel towards Australia is that it is a far away land, and not much is known about it. Stereotypes are therefore strong, the media and Australia??™s tourist industry have capitalised on this therefore there are often misconceptions about our country. But, on the other hand, in 1954, Bob Hawke was immortalised by the Guinness Book of Records for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 12 seconds. Bob later became the Prime Minister of Australia. You make up your own mind.

I will finish by saying I am proud to be Australian.

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