Being Australian Part 3

Thus, the final instalment of Being Australian.

This one was my personal favourite question, “Are We A Clone Of America?”

Hollywood probably has the biggest influence on the Western world, so it’s not surprising that Australia would try to be as like as such a strong country as possible. Hollywood shows and movies have proven popular and successful, so Australia would naturally try to import and mimic as many and much of America as possible.

But that’s just likeness; are we a clone of America?

The simple answer is: yes, and no.

(Yes, I know, that doesn’t sound like a simple answer at all. In fact it sounds like an invitation to a long discussion. Well. It is.)

Being a clone would imply that all of Australia is more or less a mini America (albeit a less capable one), and the truth is, we’re not. Sure, there are similarities. We both came to a new country and totally drove out the natives already living there, then trying to convert them to our own religion (not “we” personally, but you know), but they didn’t steal huge numbers of the native children from their homes over a period of 30 years.

And honestly, and ironically, we don’t have the cultural diversity America has, they’ve got the Hispanics and some African-Americans, and we don’t have many of those. I say ironically, because Australia prides herself in being such a multicultural country. To that, I reply, chill out! They may have more than we do, but we’re definitely more tolerant and overall nicer than America.

So, are we a clone of America? Maybe. We’ve absorbed the popular parts of their society and culture, but as to the parts where they ‘stink’ we’ve definitely bettered them.

De Fluffe. Out.

Being Australian Part 2

Going on from where I left off last time, I want to answer the second question, “What Does It Mean To Be Australian?”

It may not seem it, but answering that question would not be easy for me. When the class was discussing over the questions Ms E- gave us, April, Sonam and I concentrated on that one question.

Because being Australian doesn’t just include going to the footy, or going to the beach or having a barbeque every other week; there are many different cultures and nationalities in Australia, in fact there are 4,956,863 permanent Australian residents (that is 24%) in 2006 who were born overseas. With nearly a quarter of the population from a different nationality, with their own culture and beliefs – and no interest in Aussie Rules, it is unfeasible to believe that “going to the footy” would suffice as a broad explanation of “what it means to be Australian”.

Perhaps being Australian is to be multicultural. Australia strongly celebrates her embrace for multiculturalism, at least, that’s what she likes to think. There’s without a doubt some degree of racism in Australia, similar to the fact that Australia does not have as prestigious a history as she believes, nor would she be a strong contender in world economy – having not even ranked in the top 10 – which draws me to the conclusion that perhaps Australia has an ideal image of what she is, and while she strives to achieve this, she would always fall short. To be Australian would be to strive for the ideal entity, yet never achieving it. A bit like the Aussie battler, I guess.

De Fluffe. Out.