I walked around Melbourne yesterday for some time. I strolled through many different types of neighborhoods. Melbourne has a variety of different people and it's not hard to see why much of Australian pop culture stems from the interesting and creative people that live here. It got me to thinking what is Australia all about? What is Australia known for? Well there's the obvious Kangaroos and Koalas. Most people think about the landmarks; Uluru Rock (formerly Ayers Rock), the Outback, Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House.
What about famous people? I had no idea Rupert Murdoch (billionaire media magnate of News Corporation, now lives in the USA) was from Australia. In the acting field, you have Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, Ernie Dingo, Naomi Watts, Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee), Famous singers include the newly popular Kylie Minogue. There is of course Steve Irwin who was the Crocodile Hunter before his death a couple years ago. I'm sure there are many more but these are the names that come up in conversation the most here.
How would one characterize Australians? As a whole, most Australians are laid back and casual. This shows up in their dress attire as well. Most of their humor is often characterized as sarcastic, ironic and self-deprecating. Australians do love their beer and the bars usually make up the more lively places in town. Clubs are not as popular, although a few good ones can be found in the bigger city. Australian food is more impartial to that of the English and European menus. McDonald's however still exists even in the small Outback towns.
All in all, I'd sum up I'd summarize Australia as a laid back, casual extension of the English culture in a extremely different landscape. It has over time taken on a bit of Outback flavor giving it a unique identity that doesn't exist anywhere else.
I'm traveling the world right now. I have an HDR travel blog www.LostManProject.com if you're interested in following me. Cheers from Australia.