Australian Culture

Greetings

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  • Greetings are usually informal in social settings.
  • First names are almost always used during initial introductions.
  • A handshake is the common greeting between strangers. Shaking with a firm hand and eye contact reflects confidence.
  • If you are a newcomer, take the initiative to introduce yourself. Depending on the situation, your Australian counterpart may expect you to do it yourself as opposed to introducing you to others.
  • It is sometimes assumed that people will get to know each other as they mingle in a social setting. In this context, an introduction is not always necessary and handshaking can seem forced and awkward.
  • Different physical greetings depend on one’s sense of another person’s comfort level.
  • When greeting each other, close friends may hug, back-slap or kiss one another on the cheek, while others may simply offer a nod.
  • Women generally tend to be more tactile when greeting each other.
  • The average Australian greets with a simple Hey/Hello/Hi. Avoid saying “G’day” or “G’day mate” when first meeting someone as this can sound strange or patronising coming from a foreigner.
  • Many Australians greet by saying “Hey, how are you?”. This is simply a greeting, not an actual enquiry about your wellbeing. The common response is “I’m good, thanks. How are you?”. Giving an answer that is deeply personal or less positive can make them uncomfortable.
Australia
  • Population
    24,188,934 [Sep 2016 est.]
    0.33% of World Population
  • Average Age
    36.9
  • Languages Spoken at Home
    English (81%)
    Mandarin (1.7%)
    Italian (1.5%)
    Arabic (1.4%)
    Cantonese (1.3%)
    Other (13.4%)
  • Religions
    Christianity (61.1%)
    subdirectory_arrow_right Catholic (25.3%)
    subdirectory_arrow_right Anglican (17.1%)
    subdirectory_arrow_right Uniting Church (5%)
    subdirectory_arrow_right Presbyterian and Reformed (2.8%)
    subdirectory_arrow_right Other Christian (11%)
    No Religion (23.9%)
    Islam (3.2%)
    Buddhism (2.5%)
    Hinduism (1.3%)
    Other (1.2%)
  • Ancestries
    English (33.7%)
    Australian (33%)
    Irish (9.7%)
    Scottish (8.3%)
    Italian (4.3%)
    German (4.2%)
    Chinese (4%)
    Indian (1.8%)
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 36
    Individualism 90
    Masculinity 61
    Uncertainty Avoidance 51
    Long Term Orientation 21
    Indulgence 71
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Indigenous Australia
  • Population
    669,000 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders [2011 est.]
    3% of Australian Population
  • Diaspora
    Major Cities: 233,000
    Inner Regional Australia: 147,700
    Outer Regional Australia: 146,100
    Remote Australia: 51,300
    Very Remote Australia: 91,600
    [2011 est.]
  • Languages
    There were over 250 Indigenous Australian language groups at the time of European settlement. Roughly 120 of those lanuages are still spoken whilst around 160 are thought to be extinct.
Migrant Australia
  • Population
    6.6 million [2014 est.]
    28.2% of Australia's total population
  • Country of Birth
    United Kingdom (20.8%)
    New Zealand (9.1%)
    China (6%)
    India (5.6%)
    Vietnam (3.5%)
    Philippines (3.2%)
    South Africa (2.8%)
    Malaysia (2.2%)
    Germany (2%)
    Born elsewhere (41.2%)
  • Fastest Growing Migrant Populations
    India
    China
    Thailand
    Iraq
    Philippines
    Korea
    South Africa
    Sri Lanka
    Ireland
    Malaysia
    [2011 est.]
Where do we get our statistics?
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