One of the cultural specialties in Australia is the concept of mateship. Historically, it has its origins in the colonial era and it is still important today for coexistence in Australia. At that time, the people in the country’s inhospitable environment were dependent on each other’s support to ensure their survival. Mateship therefore not only stands for friendship, but also for loyalty and equality, which in turn can be used to explain the flat hierarchies in Australia. This could also explain the typical willingness to help. The importance of mateship for the Australians, the move to include the term in the preamble of the Australian constitution shows. However, this was rejected. The concept has also already been considered as part of a naturalization test.
Individualism and freedom
Despite the comradely ideal, Australian society, like German, is an individualistic society. That means, everyone is first of all responsible for themselves and their families. Independent work is also welcomed in professional life.
Another typical feature of Australian society is its indulgence. That means that the moral concepts are much less strict than in other countries, so that people can develop freely. Enjoying life and having fun, according to the motto No Worries, is important in Australia. Leisure time is therefore very important. In Australia this is often spent on the beach. The lifestyle in Australia is accompanied by a positive outlook on life and optimism. Because the “typical” German seems inclined to a strict work ethic and pessimism, the relaxed way of life of the Australians is a pleasant change for many.
The looseness of the Australians by no means means a lack of performance orientation. Australia has what is known as a masculine society. In such a society, successes, for example in school, university and at work, play an important role and fill you with pride. However, as already mentioned, it is not customary to show off successes and to put yourself ahead of others based on these successes.
Australian way of dealing with time
The punctuality of the Australians is somewhat contrary to the typical Australian casualness. In Australia – as is well known in Germany – this is a valuable asset. Being significantly late is generally considered impolite in Australia too.
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As a so-called normative culture, Australians are not very open to social change. They stick to their traditions and are more past and present than future oriented. This manifests itself, for example, in the fact that less is saved and quick results are expected in work processes. This differs from the German, a so-called pragmatic, culture. Here one thinks more forward-looking and is patient and persistent when it comes to achieving goals. Saving is almost a national sport here. In addition, traditions in Germany are sometimes adapted to new circumstances.
Connection to the beach and the hinterland
Most Australians live near the coast, many even close enough to the beach to be able to spend time there regularly. Australia’s all-public beaches are a popular place for recreational activities. This of course also includes surfing, which is practically an Australian national sport. The most famous beach in Australia is Bondi Beach in Sydney. Visitors from all over the world spend a different Christmas here every year. The beaches of Australia not only offer leisure activities, but also jobs, for example in the tourism or fishing industries. The beach is also a recurring theme in Australian art and literature.
The beach is just as important to Australia’s national identity as the Australian bush. The Australians use this term for all sparsely populated regions as well as for regions outside of the Australian cities. The term outback rather describes the dry areas inland. The Bush was very different from what the mostly British immigrants knew from their homeland. Therefore, he was considered typically Australian. Australian poets derived national ideals from this, which in turn contributed to the development of an Australian identity of their own.
Enthusiasm for sports
As in so many other countries in the world, many people in Australia are enthusiastic about sports. Even if soccer, arguably the favorite sport of Germans, is now very popular in Australia, there are other sports that Australians are particularly enthusiastic about. Two of these are cricket and rugby, which are very popular in several countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. This again shows the influence of British culture on the former colony of Australia. But a real Australian sport has also developed down under and is therefore a great cultural specialty of Australia. This sport is called or also Australian football Australian Rules Football and is only practiced professionally in Australia. However, there are also amateur teams in other countries. A well-known sporting event in Australia is the Melbourne Cup, a well-known horse race. Sport is a popular topic of conversation in Australia.