The Australian culture is basically a western culture significantly influenced by the geography of the continent, and of course by the traditions and cultures of the Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander people. There were also diverse waves of multi-ethnic migration after the British colonization of Australia, which in a way enriched the Australian culture in many ways. The Australian culture hosts a multiple array of great diversity of cultural practices from different corners of the world with its rich heritage in the English language, a democratic Westminster system of government, sports like cricket, and its religious belief in Christianity, deriving inspiration from a rich Anglo-Celtic heritage.
The history of Australian culture clearly reflects that from time immemorial, both Europeans and the aboriginals lived at peace together. However, the culture prevalent during that time was strikingly different from the urban lifestyle.
It is said that the continent was discovered by James Cook. Before his arrival, the inhabitants of this land were known as the "Aborigines”. The roots of the Australian culture lie within this particular ethnic group, though, it also has the subsequent influx of the immigrants all over world. Australian culture, which is famous as one of the most diverse cultures of the world was inhabited by the English people soon after the British colonization of Australia. Since then, the history of the Australian culture has grown as a largely "Anglo Celtic" one.
Australian cuisine is a large spread of food which has a close similarity to the cuisines of Europe. Beef, lamb, pork, and fish are the favorite delicacies of the Australians. With the food, the Australians are also known for their affection towards their beer and wines. The contemporary Australian cuisine has a relative Mediterranean and Asian influences. Barbecuing beef or lamb is a cherished Australian tradition. The traditional diets of the Australians are referred to as Bush Tucker – well, uniquely Australian as they may be referred to, starting from macadamia nuts to kangaroo meat. Some popular Australian sea-foods are prawns, Barramundi fish, flathead, and the Balmain bug.
Vegemite is typical of Australia only. This nourishing spread is favorite among the Australians in their every meal.
There is no officially designated dress of Australia that can be truly regarded as ‘national’. However, iconic styles typical to the nation are bushwear and surfwear.
Some other typical Australian outfits are the ugg boots and the slouch hat. The ugg boots are made of sheepskin and has fleece on the inside. The outer surface is tanned and the sole is often synthetic. These boots are very comfortable and mainly worn by the working classes in Australia.
The slouch hat was famous as military hats in Australia in 1885. They are looped up on one side to hold rifles. After the federation, the slouch hats were made into standard Australian Army headgear in 1903. It is a traditional Australian national symbol now.
Australia can be regarded as predominantly a Christian country though it does not support any official state religion. A significant part of the country’s population also professes to support no religion.
Some sections of the Australian government even prohibit the Commonwealth government to establish any church or intruding into the religious freedom of the people. However, in spite of all these, the Aboriginal Australians adhere to their traditional beliefs and spiritual values of reverence to Christianity.
Most of the indigenous Australians did turn to Christianity significantly after the European settlement.
Australia has a set of public holiday festivals that commence with the New Year's Day. The day also remembered as the day on which the Australian Federation officially came in to being. The national day of Australia, which is known as the Australian Day, is however celebrated on the 26th of January. The Anzac Day is celebrated on the 25th of April and is yet another red-letter day in Australian nationhood commemorating the Australians who laid down their lives at Gallipoli, on that same day in 1915 during the First World War.
Easter and Christmas are celebrated with great enthusiasm and are public holidays in Australia.
Another public holiday is the Labour Day which is celebrated on different days throughout the nation. The Queen's Birthday is yet another important day when distinguished citizens are awarded for their special services to the nation.