Many of my past blog posts have focused primarily on Indigenous cultures of Australia and while this is incredibly important to recognize and speak up about, The Australian culture extends far beyond this single perspective. As silly as it sounds, cafe and coffee culture is incredibly important to the average Australian. While in America we tend to see coffee as just a way to get caffeine into our system, Australian’s see it as a way to feel connected with their community and friends. While Australians spend an enormous amount of money on coffee, they do it because it allows them to take a step back, enjoy their friends, and enjoy the delicious coffee. They also pride themselves greatly on the quality of their coffee and service. While it is usually at the expense of mocking American coffee, they feel genuine pride when talking about their coffee. I never thought I would be a religious coffee drinker until a came here.
Surf culture is another important aspect of the lives of many here in Australia. With more than 8 in 10 Australians (85%) living within 50 kilometers of the coastline of Australia, it is no surprise that the people here are drawn to the ocean. However, the proximity is not the key driver that brings people to the surf beach but the community and connection which it establishes. Being out in the water with people that appreciate the beauty, peaceful, and humbling nature of the water is truly a unique experience. The people here respect the ocean and understand its true power. While surfing can be seen as an individual sport, it also is far from it. The people around you are always willing to help you catch that wave, give you advice, and show you some fantastic local spots. They embrace the chill, energetic, and lively nature of the ocean in every aspect
Lastly, the inclusive nature of Australia is something that I want to bring back to the Colby campus. While Colby is inclusive to some degree, it also could you some help from the Australian system. Here, it seems like everyone’s mentality is the more the merrier. With everyone embracing new people with open arms. Instead of taking pride in being invited to a party that other people weren’t, here, people get upset when people are left out and actively try to bridge the gap. I want to bring that mindset to Colby. That pride should come when everyone feels a part of the community. When everyone feels like they can open up, make new friends, and move outside of their comfort zone without being judged.
I am so incredibly proud that I am starting to be able to be a part of these cultures over here and am excited to bring them back.