Australia contains a lot of unique qualities culturally and environmentally.
Australia happens to be a very culturally diverse country, particularly due to their Indigenous peoples. There are over 500 different clan groups or “nations” around Australia, each with their own unique culture. They have their own languages and ceremonial rituals. In these rituals they used instruments they had made using the land (pictured below).
I had the opportunity to meet one of the members of the Eora clan at a historical site visit in La Perouse. Prior to the start of the tour of their home, the land, we paid respects to the elders and received white paint marks on our head as a sign of being welcomed in. La Perouse is a reserve where the Europeans colonized and a lot of Aboriginal people were forced in this area. Their culture relies heavily on the resources around. They developed totems, spiritual emblems, based on their home, such as plants that could be used as spears.
Not only is Australia culturally diverse because of Indigenous peoples, but they also have a lot of authentic cuisines. Since Australia is close to southeast Asia, a majority of Australian cuisine happens to be Asian. Unlike in America, where a lot of the restaurants and food are Americanized, Australia contains a lot of authentic Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Malaysian restaurants.
There are also some foods specific to Australia, such as Vegemite, Lamingtons, Tim Tams, and kangaroo. I have discovered that a lot of sweets in Australia contain chocolate and coconut. Vegemite is loved by a lot of Australians due to it being a good source of vitamins. It is a thick black jam they put on different breakfast items; it tasted bitter, I personally did not like it, but I think it is an acquired taste and many enjoy it. On the other hand, I thought Tim Tams were really good, it is basically a chocolate wafer with chocolate filling.
Australia’s environment is also very unique. Some fun facts:
- 80% of all things found in Australia, such as plants and animals, can only be found in Australia
- Australia has nutrient poor soils all over, however, they have been able to maintain an abundance of different species
- A lot of these species have learned to adapt to the nutrients that are available in their region; most do not need a lot of water, since Australia is often in a drought
- There are over 2000 species of plants in Sydney alone, which is more than all of North America.
Of course, there is also an abundance of unique animals. Australia contains some of the most deadly animals, but they barely have deadly attacks. The majority of Australian deaths actually occur from ocean currents. Some animals only found here are koalas, wombats, wallabies, and platypus.