Since 1788, the primary basis of Australian culture has been Anglo-Celtic Western culture. Distinctive Australian cultural features have also arisen from the country’s natural environment and indigenous cultures. Since the middle of the 20th century, Australian culture has been strongly influenced by American popular culture, particularly through television and cinema. Other influences are from neighboring Asian countries, and through large-scale immigration from non-English speaking countries.
Australian Visual Arts
Australian visual arts are thought to have begun with the cave and bark paintings of its indigenous people. The traditions of indigenous Australians are ...view middle of the document...
Australian Cinema Industry
The Australian cinema industry began with the 1906 release of The Story of the Kelly Gang, which is regarded as being the world’s first feature-length film. The New Wave of Australian cinema in the 1970s brought provocative and successful films, some exploring the nation’s colonial past, such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and Breaker Morant. Later hits included Mad Max and Gallipoli. More recent successes included Shine, Rabbit-Proof Fence, and Happy Feet. Australia’s diverse landscapes and cities have served as primary location s for many other films such as The Matrix, Peter Pan, Superman Returns and Finding Nemo. Recent well-known Australian actors include Judith Anderson, Errol Flynn, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush, Toni Collette, Naomi Watts, and current joint director of the Sydney Theatre Company-Cate Blanchett.
Australian literature has also been influenced by the landscape; the works of writers such as Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar captured the experience of the Australian bush. The character of colonial Australia, as represented in early literature, is popular with modern Australians. In 1973, Patrick white was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the only Australian to have achieved this. Colleen McCullough, Thomas Keneally, David Williamson and David Malouf are also renowned writers.
Australian Food Traditions
Australian food traditions have been shaped by those who have settled in Australia. Throughout the majority of Australian history, Australian cuisine was based on traditional British food, brought to the country by the first British settlers. Later in the 19th and especially 20th century, food began to reflect the influences of Mediterranean and Asian cultures, introduced by many immigrants who arrived in Australia during this period. There are a few foods which can be considered uniquely such as Macadamia nuts and kangaroo meat. Local beers and wines are popular and internationally renowned. Desserts well known for their Australian origins include Pavlova, lamingtons and Tim Tams.
Australians are passionate about sport and it forms a major part of the country's culture, particularly in terms of spectating, but also in terms of participation. Cricket is popular in the summer and football codes are popular in the winter. Approximately 24% Australians over the age of 15 regularly participate in organized sporting activities in Australia. Australia has strong international teams in cricket, soccer / football, field hockey, netball, rugby league, rugby union, and performs well in cycling, rowing, and swimming. Some of Australia's most successful sportspersons are swimmers Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose, and Ian Thorpe, sprinter Betty Cuthbert, tennis players Rod Laver and Margaret Court, and cricketer Donald Bradman. Nationally, other popular sports include Australian Rules football, horse racing, surfing, football...