The Australia’s culture is regarded as one of the oldest cultures on the planet. Some of the oldest and surviving cultural traditions in Australia are those of the Torres Strait islander’s people and the Aboriginal.
Their ancestors are believed to have inhabited Australia for between 40,000 and 60, 000 and lived a hunter-gather form of lifestyle.
The Aboriginal people live in a belief of Dreaming or Dreamtime, which refers to a period long ago when ancestral spirits created land and culture. Styles and major inventions like the didgeridoo, the boomerang and the indigenous Australian music have become part of modern Australia’s culture.
(a) ABORIGINAL CULTURE
-According to the Aboriginal culture, the ancestral spirits descended from the skies and others emerged from the earth to awaken a quiet and silent world. They created the moon, sun and stars and also forged the mountains, rivers lakes and oceans.
-The ancestral spirits later transformed into animals and human form. The spirits have been there since then and connects the past, present and future generations.
-The culture has been passed down from generation to generation through stories, dreams, songs and dances. The culture of rock art, bark painting and craft have also been preserved for long.
(b) COLONIAL MYTHS
-During the 17th century, a group of European explorers sailed along the Australian coast then known as New Holland. It was not until late 1770 that Captain James Cook charted the east coast and claimed it for the Great Britain.
-The new coast was now used as a penal colony on 27th January 1788. The first fleet of eleven ships came with 1,500 people, half of them convicts, in Sydney harbor. By the time the penal transportation was ended in 1868, more than 168, 000 men and women had come to Australia as convicts.
-Colonial Settler began to flow as early as 1790s and began to take prisoners as slaves. Life for the prisoners was very harsh and the number of women to men was five times less. This made the women to live under constant strains like sexual harassment.
-Prisoners were not properly prosecuted and could be hung for crimes as petty as stealing.
-Although Australia has no official language, it is monolingual with English being largely used as the national language.
-Australian English is a bit different from British and American English as it has a virtue of unique accent, idioms pronunciation and vocabularies. In a 2011 survey, Statistics show that 80% of Australian homes use English, 1.7% Mandarin, 1.5% Italian and 1.4 use Arabic.
-Australia has a sign language known as Auslan and by 2004 it was the most used sign language in Australia.
(d) ROYAL SYMBOLS
-A number of royal symbols exist in Australia to reflect the country’s constitutional monarchy. These symbols include the monarch of Australia and the monarch’s regal representatives.
-Even though the Queen of Australia does not reside in Australia, the royal institutions and the Crown remain a very visible sign in Australian life.
-All Australian currency, including the five dollar note and all coins bear an image of the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.