Saturday 9 April 2011

Australia, Australia, Australia we love you...

A new Australian film hit UK cinema screens yesterday. The film is Tomorrow When The War Began. With that I got sent a nice piece about Australia...

Many Aussies have ditched their sunnies and carefree lifestyle in favour of the good pubs and rain that the UK has to offer. Similarly, many English have decided to escape to the beaches of Australia in favour of warm weather. With both nationalities lining the shores and pubs of each other’s countries, various cultural references have crossed paths. While the Australians have adopted a similar language, government, and share a Queen with the UK, there are some Australian cultural icons that have also made the journey over 16,000 km and integrated into our nation. For instance....

Many famous actors and actresses have kept us captivated by their performances on and off the big screen. Actors such as Heath Ledger have shown talent in a variety of films ranging from Brokeback Mountain to 10 Things I Hate About You to his final and Oscar-winning performance in The Dark Knight. Oscar winners have also included Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Geoffrey Rush and Russell Crowe. Other notable actors include Paul Hogan, Hugh Jackman, and Toni Collette. Some of these famous actors and actresses have appeared in Australia’s most popular TV shows and movies. Home and Away is a famous Australian soap opera that has been running since 1987 and has featured famous Aussie actors such as Heath Ledger, Chris Hemsworth, Isla Fisher, Naomi Watts, and of course Caitlin Stasey, starring in the latest of the Australian exports – Tomorrow, When The War Began out on 8th April.

Moving may not even realize it, but some of music’s greatest artists and bands have come from the land down under. AC/DC originated in Sydney, Australia in 1973 and are still creating music today. They have influenced hard rock and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. Although the brothers of the Bee Gees were born in the Isle of Man, they began their career in Brisbane, Australia and created hits for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack that remains one of the most popular soundtrack albums of all time. Melbourne born pop icon Kylie Minogue has sold over 60 million awards and received numerous awards for her success.

Clothes... Australians are generally associated with a laid-back style of clothing, and clothing companies such as Billabong and Rip Curl have emulated that. Casual footwear such as Ugg boots became popular with shepherds, aviators, and surfers but have now become an international phenomenon. Flip flops, also known as thongs, have become a summer staple for the young and old, men and women.

As an island and continent of its own, there are some interesting and completely random facts that come from the land of OZ. No part of Australia is more than 1000 km from the ocean and a beach. On the other hand, the Australian Alps, aka Snowy Mountains, receive more snow than Switzerland. We all know that kangaroos are commonly associated with the country as well as koalas, emus and kookaburra, but did you know that there are over 16 rabbits for every person? That means that there are over 320 MILLION rabbits hopping around Australia. Another interesting animal found in Australia (technically Tasmania, but it’s a state of Australia) is the Tasmanian devil. Yes, they’re real, and these little marsupials are the size of a small dog, but have the jaw strength of a crocodile!

All in all, Australia’s national icons range from common (Uggs) to the extraordinarily famous (Nicole Kidman, AC/DC.) From the stunning mountains and beaches sprawled across the land to the laid back attitudes Aussies have, there is a certain ‘thing’ about Australia and its absolute influence over cultures nationally and internationally. And if you want to experience a little bit of Australia, why not hit the cinemas this weekend to watch Tomorrow, When The War Began?

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