We all have something interesting and authentic to bring to
There's little doubt that Australia is one of the most
culturally-diverse nations on the planet. Our population is made up of
people representing virtually every cultural background. The
inevitable result of this is that our society becomes a huge melting
pot of colour, flavour and diversity.
Harmony Day, which is
observed today, celebrates this diversity. It aims to foster a broad
sense of inclusiveness, respect and the idea that people of all
different cultures can make a valuable contribution to society. We all
have something interesting and authentic to bring to the table. And
our society is stronger, richer and more interesting because of this.
Here's our list of 9 touchstones from other cultures that have found
(or are finding) a valued place within our society.
The Hindu "Festival of Lights" is held every October and is
a significant event on the Hindu calendar. In the last 10 years it's
started to capture "mainstream" attention, and is now
celebrated in some workplaces with morning teas of traditional Indian
and Sri Lankan goodies.
Where would we be without our Asian food? It's become such a staple
of our food-loving culture that supermarkets now devote entire
sections to Asian food and cooking ingredients. From its humble
beginnings as the token Chinese restaurant in every country town,
Australia's love of Asian food now encompasses entire neighbourhoods
that seem to specialise in particular cuisines, such as Melbourne's
Richmond and Footscray for Vietnamese and Sydney's Newtown for Thai.
Lebanese food has become a mainstay in our culture for many years
with delicious goodies such as tabbouleh, hummus, and falafel a staple
for many people. And who doesn't love a good kebab?
The Aussie population has strong Irish roots and this shows with our
love of Irish pubs, Guinness and also St Patrick's Day celebrations,
held annually on 17 March.
Mexican is another cuisine that's so popular it's now available in
most supermarkets for DIY tacos or nachos at home. And Mexican
restaurants are always a popular choice.
We think of ourselves as a sporting nation, but many of our most
popular sports originated in other countries, such as cricket and
netball which are both from England and surfing from the US state of Hawaii.
This major event on the Chinese calendar has become a show-stopper
for the broader community with large and colourful parades being held
in major cities to welcome in the Lunar new year. Which animal are you?
This physical and spiritual discipline has been around for thousands
of years and is an important component of many Eastern cultures and
religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shaivism and Jainism. In our
modern Aussie society it's something that many people now incorporate
it into their weekly health and fitness regimes.
The first wave of Italian immigrants to Australia in the 1950s
brought their food and coffee with them, and we're eternally grateful
that they did. These days Italian restaurants are everywhere and words
like "marinara", "carbonara", "ravioli"
and "tortellini" are commonplace. Good old spaghetti
Bolognese (or "spag bol") is so popular it's almost our
unofficial national dish.