Australia is geographically located just south of China and Indonesia on the world map. It is considered to be the 6th largest country in the world in terms of land mass. Meanwhile Australia is also considered the smallest continent in the world. In 1945, Australia only had a population of about 7 million people. Since 1945 the country had gained another 6. 5 million due to immigration for reasons such as escaping poverty, war and persecution. The immigrants have mainly come from the areas of Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
Australia now prides itself on the diversification of these immigrants and their contributions that helped create the current culture. The current estimate on the population is now nearly 23 million with around 575,000 being that of the indigenous people. This total population is relatively small compared to the populations of all other inhibited continents (excluding Antarctica), but this country is has a larger economy than its population may suggest and is considered a first world country. Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd once described Australia to be a nation whose origins lie firmly in the west, “but whose geo-political and geo-economic circumstances are shaped in large part by our location in the east… this is the inescapable expression of the Australian condition. ”” Australia’s Western feel along with their geographic location gives them a major advantage when doing business internationally. Just north of the country lies several Asian countries accumulating a large percentage of the Worlds’ population.
This gives them closer access to these large populated areas with growing economies and increased purchasing power. This can lead to a significant reduction in shipping costs compared to further regions like the Americas. With the western feel in their culture they can also relate to countries in that area of the world, creating good relationships and attracting potential business opportunities from those populations. A lot of the culture in Australia resides on a set of shared values by its population. Those values include (many related to that of the United States) reedom of speech, freedom of religion, equality of gender and race, and the right to peacefulness. It can be considered in a few ways that they have egalitarian qualities. The qualities include no class system within the population, hard-working individuals have many opportunities to become successful (not just the born gifted persons). Things such as language and cultural heritage won’t hold one back from achieving their goals. The main language that is used in Australia is English, but is home to around 200 different languages including: Arabic, Italian, Greek, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and many variations of the indigenous languages.
Business is primarily done in English within the country. Like most countries that speak English there are different dialects and slang words that Australian English have with meanings that international visitors may not understand or catch. Two major activities in the Australian culture are that of visual arts and sports/exercising. There is a lot of appreciation in their arts scene with the most popular events being films, music concerts, and art galleries/museums. Roughly 13 million or 88% of adults go to a cultural event or performance every year.
The origins of their arts can be trace back to the cultural values that their migrant ancestors brought. It can also be traced to their indigenous population, which they have been known to live there for around 50,000 years. Nearly 70% of persons’ age 15 and up, in a national survey, participate in physical activities through sport and recreation at least once a week. Their most common activities include aerobics, swimming, tennis, cycling, and soccer. They have much pride in their sporting culture as they place importance on sporting performance.
In the 2004 Athens Olympics Australia placed 4th on the total metal count. They are also known to have the most competitive cricketing team in the world. As explained later on, there is also there Melbourne Cup which is a major horse race that is broadcasted nationally. Food is heavily impacted by the diversity of the population also. Much of the cuisine comes from European (past down recipes) and Asian influence (geographic location). Many larger cities are found on the coastal areas of the country making it so that fish and other sea-food are plentiful, making those areas large food markets.
Australia is also known for the agriculture and freshness of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Exotic meats that can be found on the menus include crocodile, buffalo, Kangaroo and emu. Just like in the U. S. food is a very important and a valued aspect of the culture, which can be incorporated into business meetings or casual meetings of potential/current business partners. There is no set cuisine that can be labeled “Australian” but they do pride on their diversity of food selections.
Australia is also known internationally for their wine sector. Many Australians like to drink wine with dinner and to celebrate with. There are many different holidays recognized in Australia due to its diverse population, but there are also the holidays that pertain to the country itself other than religious holidays. Workers tend to get many of the national public holidays off from work. Some of these include New Years’ day which is January 1st, it is said that many workers tend to take their leave around this time.
Australia Day is celebrated on January 26th, which marks the day that European settlers found the country in 1788. Anzac Day on April 25th is to honor of those who served in Turkey in 1915 during World War 1. They honor these military personnel by ceremonies, lying of wreaths, and military parades. Australia is predominantly Christian so other national public holidays include Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. There are also region specific holidays depending on where you travel within Australia.
One example is the Melbourne Cup Day which is celebrated on the first Tuesday of every November. This is a public holiday in the metropolitan area of Melbourne. It is the day of a major horse race that has been said to bring most of Australia to a stand-still, this is because a majority of people are likely stop what they are doing to catch a glimpse of it. With the diverse population that Australia has there isn’t really such a thing as the “typical Australian”, but doesn’t mean that they don’t have their fair share of stereotypes.
Many people tend to think that Australians live a fairly leisure and laid back lifestyle, but many tend to be hard working averaging longer work days than other developed countries. It is common for them to have informal relationships with acquaintances and co-workers. When meeting for the first time two people will shake hands using their right hand, rather than hug or kiss on the cheek. They tend to be monochromatic in the essence of time. They express importance in being on time for appointments and meetings.
It is very important to call if one knows they are going to be late to a meeting. Most of them tend to be very outgoing people and informal in social situations outside of the workplace. Style of clothing tends to also be informal when in social situations. Many dress for comport when out with friends unless they are going to clubs or other potentially formal settings. Australia has developed into a first world country in quite a short amount of time. The strength of their shared values is a major reason for this growth.
Much of the Australian culture relates to that of the U. S. in terms of those shared values. In recent history, Australia seems to be able to be considered a “melting pot” because of its cultural diversity. It is still climbing in tourism and relocation because of its attractiveness in fair life and opportunities to succeed.
http://australia. gov. au/about-australia/our-country/our-people http://www. dfat. gov. au/facts/people_culture. html http://www. economywatch. com/world_economy/australia/? page=full http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Australian_Aboriginal_languages