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Australia Traditions

Folklore

The time period when only Aboriginal people resided in Australia- prior to the invasion of the Europeans is known as Dreamtime is a term used to describe the mystical time when the Aboriginal people established their world. The myths are seen as being absolutely truthful and inhabit everyone in the Australian culture. These myths are comparable to the American mythology and explain the creation of natural things such as the sun, etc. The Aboriginal Dreamtime is part of the culture that explains the origins of the people and of the land. Dreamtime includes a story of how things have happened, how the universe came to be, how humans were created, and how the Creator intended for humans to function in this world. Essentially, Dreamtime is the Aboriginal Religion and Culture (http://www.crystalinks.com/index.html).

*These pictures came from Crystalinks.com

 

Holidays

Australia celebrates many of the same holidays as do people of the Western world, such as Easter and Christmas. However, Australians also celebrate some holidays unique to their country and culture.

Christmas-Australia’s version of the holiday Christmas varies with other countries’ holiday partly due to the fact that Christmas is celebrated in the summer. It is seen as being a family holiday that brings variation to the holiday as well. Each family has their own personal traditions, as do they in most countries (www.ozkidz.gil.com.au/Christmas.html.)

Western Australian Christmas Tree

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day- Dec. 26

*These pictures came from http://www.shoal.net.au/~seabreeze/christmas.html

Family: Families celebrate with relays in swimming pools, water gun fights, or backyard cricket. Father Christmas/Santa Claus is usually pictured in a swimming costume and a cool drink is left out for him by children at night. School is let out a week prior to Christmas for summer break and resumes after Australia Day on January 26.

Decorations: Homes are not decorated as heavily as in some cultures but there are two traditional native plants used for the occasion: The NSW Christmas bush and Christmas bells.

Food: Meals include hot turkey, Christmas pudding, seafood, cold turkey and ham for salads, Panforte and panettone (Christmas cake), mince pies, ice cream (www.geocities.com/athens/olympus/8559/austxmas.htm)

 

Anzac Day- April 25             

Anzac stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and the holiday is set aside to honor Australians who have died in wars. It is probably considered the most important national occasion. Veterans celebrate by marching through the streets of cities in the morning and share drinks and memories in the afternoon. This day is very special to Australians and commemorative services begin at dawn. These ceremonies are held at war memorials around the country of Australia. During the day, the ceremonies always include an introduction, a hymn, a prayer, and address, laying of wreaths, recitation, a period of silence, and the National Anthem (http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/commemorative_days.htm,).

Printed Souvenier of First Anzac Day Observation

Anzac Day March

 

Anzac Day Ceremony

*These pictures came from http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/commemorative_days.htm,

Australia Day- January 26

This holiday commemorates the anniversary of the day in 1788 when the English declared Australia a new colony. It is celebrated with parties, picnics, and fireworks and coincides with the last days of summer vacation. This is considered a family holiday (www.shoal.net.au/~seabreeze/christmas.html).

Boxing Day- December 26

This day is a public holiday and the majority of Australians spend it on the beach. Some see this day as a day to extend the Christmas break (www.shoal.net.au/~seabreeze/christmas.html).

 

Clothing

Due to the mild weather, Australians tend to wear light clothing. In the workplace, people dress to stay cool which consists of long socks and tailored shorts instead of slacks. People dress stylishly in the city and in the workplace, but tend to dress down in jeans and sneakers for the weekends.

Children must wear uniforms at school and sunscreen all year round. Having a suntan is a sign of foolishness because Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world (www.aussie-info.com).

 

Food

Seafood is abundant and popular in Australia along with large portions of meat such as beef or lamb roasts. Australia also is known for its wonderful fruits and vegetables.

The wine industry is prevalent in the south of the country. A typical day of meals for Australians could look something like the following:

Breakfast: cereal and toast or eggs and bacon

Lunch: sandwiches, salad, and fruit

Main Meal: meat or seafood with vegetables, dessert (Brewer).

Traditional Australian foods:

Vegemite: black spread made from yeast extract plus salt and is spread on toast or sandwiches. Children are brought up eating it from babyhood.

Meat Pie: approximately 260 million meat pies are eaten by Australians every year

Pavola: dessert with a soft meringue with fruit and cream filling

Lamingtons: sponge cake cube desserts coated with chocolate and coconut (http://www.dez1.com/australianfood.html)

*The above pictures came from Yahoo Picture Gallery


World View & Cultural Classification Traditions, Holidays, Folklore, Myths
Language, Values, Proverbs * Nonverbal Issues
Australian Educational System * Australian Healthcare
Improving Intercultural Competence * Entertainment in Australia * Australian Sports * Bibliography * Project Team 

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E-mail questions or comments to
mkfinney@depauw.edu
  January 26, 2001