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Snapshot of Australia – Australia does not have an official language, though English is the de facto language. Australian English has its own unique accent and phrases. Chinese, Italian, and Arabic are also spoken by small groups. About 60% of Australia’s population is Christian, with the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches being the largest denominations. About 30% of the population does not practice any religion. Modern Australian culture has been greatly influenced by other English-speaking nations (particularly England as a result of early British colonization), though efforts have been made to preserve the Aboriginal culture as well. Immigration from other countries has made Australia into a “melting pot” nation. Australian culture tends to be very informal, and dry, ironic humor is a common theme. Loyalty to ones’ friends (“mates”) is considered an important part to Australian culture. The appeal of the Australian outback has influenced many art forms in the country, though other styles such as street art are popular in the cities. Australia has often contributed to international popular culture, through bands such as AC/DC and the Bee Gees or actors such as Hugh Jackman. Aboriginal traditions can still be seen in instruments such as the didgeridoo. Popular sports in Australia include Australian-rules football, cricket, rugby, and basketball. Cycling and skateboarding are also popular activities, especially among the youth. A wide variety of foods are available in Australia. Several varieties of fish and seafood dishes are common, and barbecuing meat is a popular practice. Popular dishes include fish and chips, hamburgers, meat pie, sausage rolls, and pavlova (a meringue dessert). Kangaroo meat is also used in some recipes. Vegemite is a popular spread in Australia.
There are 5 stakes and districts located in the Australia Adelaide Mission. The sparsely populated Northern Territory is home to only 4 branches in one district in the territory. The Church is strong in the Adelaide area, with the Adelaide Australia Temple serving the area since 2000. The Church also has an Employment Resource Center in Adelaide.
Much of Australian cuisine has been influenced by its past as an English colony. Some popular dishes include fish and chips, meat pies, and meat and potatoes. Kangaroo meat is also regularly available. Seafood dishes are commonly eaten in coastal areas, with flathead fish being one of the more popular varieties of fish. Fresh produce is also widely available in Southern Australia. Pavlova cake is a very popular dessert.
Most missionaries are usually assigned to use either bicycles or cars in their areas. Designations depend on the size of the area and leadership positions. The city of Adelaide also has an extensive public transportation system, including a bus line and a tram system.
Some areas of Australia’s Northern Territory have notoriously higher crime rates than the rest of the country due to the presence of motorcycle gangs in the region. Unemployment in the town of Alice Springs has led to rising crime levels, causing the town to hire private security guards.
Adelaide is home to many festivals and cultural events throughout the year. One of the city’s more popular events is the annual Adelaide Christmas Pageant, an extremely popular Christmas parade that is the largest in the world. The event generally draws close to 400,000 visitors and is also broadcast on television.
The more rural regions still have a presence of indigenous Australian tribes, and the “outback” culture is also more prevalent in these areas.
Australia a very unique lingo, with its own accent and slang. Here are just a few examples of phrases you’ll probably hear in the Australia Adelaide area. A longer list is available at http://www.tropicaldarwin.com/Local-Slang-Lingo.htm
“How’s it hangin’/how’s it goin’” – Hello
“See you round/cheerio” – goodbye
“Arvo” – afternoon
“Bust a gut” – to work hard
“True blue” – genuinely Australian
Uluru, more commonly known as Ayer’s Rock, is part of Uluru-Kata Taju National Park in the Northern Territory (located within mission boundaries). Ayer’s Rock and Kata Taju are considered sacred sites to indigenous people of the area, and ancient pictograms can be found in the area as well, as well as caves and natural springs (the town of Alice Springs was founded near a natural spring). Several other national parks are also located in the region.
The city of Adelaide is also known for its arts and entertainment scenes, with the North Terrace and King William Street being home to several interesting sites.
PO Box 97
Marden SA 5070
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