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Archive for the ‘Society and Culture’ Category

Culture Of Australia

Friday, June 15th, 2012

The oldest surviving culture of Australia can be traced back to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, whose ancestors have lived in Australia between 40,000 and 60,000 years until the arrival of Europeans.

Today, with just 2.3 per cent of Indigenous population, the rest of Australia’s population is highly mixed with the migrants who arrived in the country from different places resulting in a great diversity of cultural practices and pursuits.

Nowadays, Australia adopts Anglo-Celtic culture with a pluralistic society rooted in liberal democratic traditions. The multi-ethnic migration plays a great role in influencing all aspects of Australian life, including business, the arts, cooking, sense of humour and sporting tastes. Film, music, painting, theatre, dance and crafts form an integral part of Australian culture and each capital city boasts of high cultural institutions in the form of major art galleries, ballet troupes, theaters, symphony orchestras, opera houses and dance companies.

Along with Opera Australia based in Sydney, the Australian Ballet, Melbourne and Sydney symphony orchestras are some of the well regarded cultural institutions. Institutions like Sydney Theatre Company and National Institute of Dramatic Art train students of theatre, film, and television and have produced a list of famous alumni including, Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush and Baz Luhrmann.

Aboriginal culture also contribute to the music culture of Australia which can be seen from their distinctive musical instrument producing a droning sound and now used by a wide variety of non-Aboriginal performers. Nowadays, Aboriginal musicians have adopted western style singing in English and in the language of the Yolngu. Some of the well-known contemporary musicians include Archie Roach, the Warumpi Band, NoKTuRNL and Yothu Yindi.

Australia is also known for fashion industry with well known designers and models. The country’saustralia culture 1 best-known fashion event is Australian Fashion Week which is held twice in a year, showcasing the latest seasonal collections from Australian and Asia Pacific designers. Some of the top Australian models include Elle McPherson, Lara Bingle and Jennifer Hawkins.

Kangaroos

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Kangaroos are the largest surviving marsupials in the world. A male buck can reach 6 ½ feet tall, and weigh 200 pounds. Female flyers are slightly smaller. Their babies, called joeys, are born at only 31-36 days gestation.

At only 0.35 ounces, the joey’s forelimbs are developed enough to climb from the birth canal to its mother’s pouch, where it attaches to one of four teats. There it stays cuddled up for nine months, transforming from a hairless, pink, bean-sized mite, to an irresistibly furry, doe-eyed darling. Then it will venture out of the security of its pouch for a short adventure before hopping back in. Its mother will feed and protect it another nine months, until her next joey is born.

Flyers are perpetually pregnant once they reach maturity. Immediately after giving birth they go into heat. The fertilized embryo will go into a dormant state until the older joey has vacated the pouch. The milk produced by the flyer is specially suited to its growing joey’s needs. If she is simultaneously feeding an older and a younger joey, a flyer may produce two different kinds of milk!

The rangeland where kangaroos graze is hot and arid, but kangaroos are suited for their environment. To conserve energy and keep cool kangaroos are crepuscular, meaning that they rest during the day and are most active at twilight hours. They shelter under trees and in caves and rock clefts during the day. Instead of sweating and panting, kangaroos lick themselves all over to cool off.

Their long hindquarters have a stretchy tendon and studies have shown that even the kangaroo’s breathing is synchronized with their rhythmic leaping. In this way their agile bodies are designed to be fast and energy-efficient, two important qualities that are needed to cover the long distances in search of food and water.

Kangaroos are not built for walking, and their legs do not move independently of each other. Because of this they cannot walk backwards. This fact won kangaroos a prominent position on the Australian coat-of-arms, where it symbolized progress and forward movement.

Kangaroos travel in groups of ten or more called mobs, led by the largest dominant male, called the boomer. Boomers may wander in and out of the mob, but they retain exclusive breeding rights with the females. If the mob is approached by an infrequent predator, the group will scatter. Sometimes a kangaroo will fight its enemy, and can be a formidable foe. Using its front paws to hold its attacker, the kangaroo will disembowel the enemy with its powerful hindquarters.