Land Down Under: The Unique Cultural Identity of Australia

Land Down Under: The Unique Cultural Identity of Australia

Australia beyond beers and mates is known for kangaroos and koalas, connecting with nature and wildlife, and their extreme love for sports. This country that mirrors its British penal history and the subsequent migration from elsewhere in Europe and to neighboring countries, have been creative in adapting to their cultural roots to make it unique and theirs.

Defined by Aboriginal culture –a rich and timeless tradition– and its cultural diversity at the same time, Australia definitely offers something for everyone. As the world’s sixth largest country surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Ocean, there are certainly plenty of breathtaking beaches, iconic landmarks, cosmopolitan cities, rainforests, desert and vineyards, and pristine national parks. Proud of their heritage and progress, what do Aussies have in store for us?

A Land of Nature and Wildlife

Geographical isolation has birthed Australia’s unique flora and fauna, making it an extraordinary showcase of rare and endemic species. Deeply immersed and true to the experiences in nature and also guided by the Aboriginal wildlife experience, animals in Australia have come to represent the country in the world.

Among the known animals is the wombat, second-largest marsupial, these rotund grass-munchers often present their agility, reaching speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour.

Another marsupial is the iconic koala, it is known for its lazy lifestyle, a fluffy tree-dwelling marsupial that spends 18-22 hours per day sleeping while consuming up to one kilogram of eucalyptus leaves daily. Meeting a koala is considered one of Australia’s most unforgettable animal experiences.

Meanwhile, kangaroos with approximately 50 different types, showcase surprising swimming abilities. Their presence is so abundant that it has been a known fact that there are two kangaroos for every person in Australia.

Australia is also a home for the echidna, an egg-laying mammal that resembles a hedgehog crossed with an anteater; its adorable offspring are known as puggles. Another egg-laying animal that inhabits Australia is the platypus. Platypus resides in the rivers, lakes, and creeks of eastern Australia, with its quirky and shy nature.

In Tasmania, the Tasmanian devil, living up to its namesake, is a small, feisty carnivore with powerful jaws used to devour its entire prey. Impressively, Tasmanian devils are also spectacular tree climbers.

Surrounded by oceans, Australia’s coasts witness the annual migration of humpback and southern right whales in several months. Notably, Migaloo, an albino adult male humpback, has gained celebrity status as keen whale watchers spot him traveling along the east coast up to the Great Barrier Reef every year.

Pride in Culture and Identity

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the oldest living civilization, is the primary reason as to why Aussies are deeply connected to nature. They possess a special connection to land and have the commitment to family and community that are now well-known characteristics of Australians. Some of the Aboriginals and Torres of today have an extensive mixture of traditions, spiritualities and customs. They have perfected the integration of cultural behaviors of various settlers and made it their own.

Food, drinking and gambling have long been an integral part of Australian culture. Aussies love to drink, after a day at work, on weekends with a mate or family, drinking has been their biggest pastime. Certainly, we cannot blame them as they have great breweries in each city and aromatic wineries in the countryside.

As mentioned, Aussies love to gamble; pokies –which the world refers to as slot machines– originated and are popularized in Australia. It first appeared in Tasmania in the 1950s introduced by the Aristocrat gaming company, and since then it has become one of their cultural identities.

The popularity of pokies has even transpired into modern society that we can find different variations of it online. Also, laws in the country have been liberalized to cater to this undying love for pokies – and gambling in general– that also paved the way for mainstreaming of online casinos for real money. Various reputable online casino sites with a user-friendly layout are available in the country for you to explore.

However, gambling is not the only sport the Aussies are passionate about. Australia is also known for their adoration for Rugby League, AFL, Tennis, Cricket and Motor Sport Racing. They have created a culture where they tend to back teams local to where they live or grew up. Attending a live game in Australia can make you fired-up as the audience are usually hyped and passionate.

Australians love their mates, their native animals, their sports and certainly their beers, but there is so much more to this unique and multicultural country than what meets the eyes. We can certainly learn more about how cultural identity still stands despite an abundance of migration and settlers. And how they maintain and take care of nature and animals. Surely, Australians are not just their charming accents, their charisma lies within their culture.

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