Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The 'Real Australia' - I HEART DIVERSITY

"Australia has one of the highest incidence of interethnic marriages and relationships in the world."

Postcard from Australia

by Ian Shying, Creative Director, Profero Sydney

An Italian pizzeria a few blocks from a mosque, around the corner from a Fijian community centre. Australia is a widely diverse nation. Geographically close to Asia yet politically and culturally aligned with the USA and UK. It is a nation unlike any other. About three quarters of Australians identify with an ancestry other than Australian. 22% of the population were born in another country and collectively, Australians speak over 200 languages.

Most Australians, from whatever background, ‘live and breathe’ cultural diversity. Contrary to some press coverage there is no evidence of ‘ethnic ghettos’, but instead a reasonable desire for cultural maintenance which is balanced by an equally high degree of cultural interaction between people from non-English speaking backgrounds and the broader community. In fact, older long-time Australians with lower levels of education live in a more culturally homogenous world and are much less engaged with cultural diversity than people from non English speaking backgrounds.

Food trends tell a similarly diverse story, the local pizza cafe was joined during the 60s & 70's by neighbourhood Chinese restaurants. In the 90's Thai restaurants appeared on every street corner and today it would be hard to find a national cuisine that isn't readily available. Your average suburban cafe is likely to include the likes of turkish bread, chi tea and sushi on it's menu.

Online mainstream Australia is dominated by US centric properties such as Google, Yahoo, MSN & MySpace, however niche sites cater to the unique needs of our diverse society. AsiaGroove is one such example; an online Asian community & friendship network based in Australia. AsiaGroove provides a social & cultural forum for Asians, Australians and their friends worldwide of all ages and backgrounds to meet, interact and make friends.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good writing. I love Australia since immigrating here.