Custom «Historical Fiction and Australian Culture» Essay Paper Sample
Australian culture complexities are attributed the earlier times of British colonies. The country underwent a long period of colonization after it was named "Australia". It was derived in early 19th Century from the Latin word terra australis incognita meaning: "the unknown south land" (Goldberg & Smith, 1988). Since its days when it was British colony, Australia has developed a very complex culture. This culture is derived from the settlers from various parts of the world as well as the Torres Strait Islander and indigenous Aboriginal people. The recent cultural changes are attributed to the foreigners who come with heir cultural fashions influence the predominant culture. Also, changes in the traditional cultures of Australians are as a result of the impacts of environmental variations.
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Australian culture is regarded to be one of the oldest cultures in human history. Archeologists and sociologists argue that the culture is estimated to have survived or existed for the last 50, 000 to 60,000 years ago. Torres Strait Islander & Aboriginal cultures have been the dominant and are described to have been the most complex and diverse. Its ability to adapt and change over time gives the reason why the traditional culture has been able to survive for so long. The aboriginal people have been having the affinity with their surroundings making them survive all these millennia Goldberg & Smith, 1988). Generation after another one passed the culture to the next with some survival changes featuring in the transition.
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Because of its age, Australian culture has attracted several philosophical literatures. Most of these literatures have put forward distinct fictional comments about the culture. Historical fictions are stories which their truth depends on the respondent. As such the fictional interest here has been linking the past beliefs to the culture. Most of these stories rely on the imaginations, reconstruction of characters, events, movements, ways of life (culture) and the past days.
To start with, land is described as a fundamental and a contentious property of the Australian Aboriginal people. It is taken to be the source of wellbeing among these people and the historic cultural organization took keen interest in land acquisition. The ownership and inheritance was something community needed to take its golden time to structure the regulations and the terms of ownership. Transferring land from one party to another really depended on the behaviors the two parties depicted in the community. The process could be reversed upon the knowledge of any hidden reasons behind the transfer. Also, the fictions defines the land in Australian culture to be not just soil or rocks or even mineral, but the land in the Aboriginal culture, comprised the whole environment capable of sustaining or sustainable by the people or the culture. The land is home to the country's spirits and all issues surrounding land determine the relationship between the people and the spirit. Any land disputes was therefore criticized, avoided or even solved in time to avoid "provoking" of the ancestral spirits the fiction described to be watching and listening. As a result, community elders used the spirits to threaten those members who engaging in land disputes. More interestingly, if a solution was not found to establish the actual land owner, the land was confiscated and left to be a sacred place (Disher, 2002).
The main economic activities of all the Australian Aboriginals are historically known to have been semi-nomadic, hunting and gathering. Each clan was assigned sections where they could earn the living. Territories were termed as traditional land and were demarcated by geographical features. As a result, historical fictions used to describe this way of leaving as being controlled by the fictional "Bunyips". Bunyips are fictional creatures the literature claims to have existed during the past centuries. They lived in the bushes, swamps, rivers and billabongs (Goldberg & Smith, 1988). They were man-eaters which only ate the lonely walkers and the stray livestock. According to the historical fictions, there existed bunyips that knew clan members and could only attack the outsiders. This assisted the community elders to monitor the movement of the clan members as no member could cross to the neighboring clan's territory due to fear of attack. Therefore, such historical fictions commented the Australian hunting and gathering being controlled by fictional bunyips.
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Australians also valued such features as water bodies, sky, and some animal species, according to comments from historical fiction, the Aborigines termed the beginning of the world as the "Dreaming" or rather "Dreamtime". The valued features were claimed by the Aborigines to be constituted by the rose "Ancestors". They regarded or believed that human were not at the top level of the nature. Aborigines believed that upon the dead an individual, metamorphosis takes place on the bodies to form features in the nature such as rivers. As a result, the culture did not allow any intrusion or abuse of such features they were ancestors who remained spiritually alive. People were then forced to live near to these features as they believed that moving away meant deserting the ancestors. This explains why during 1880s, Aborigines population decreased spontaneously due to exposure to new disease in urban areas after forced assimilation.
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Australians are also commented for using cultural beliefs to scare away the foreigner. For example, Dropbears were evil species of koala that were culturally believed to be falling from trees and attack humans (Disher, 2002). This evil strain didn't exist in reality but they were used to scare Americans. There were other many species of fictional creature which played major roles of shaping the Australian culture. Examples of these creatures are megafauna which existed 20-30 years ago, bradshaws, and other living creatures which were associated with fictional behaviors. Culture was commented as being controlled by such creatures.
Another aspect of culture which used to be described using fictions is language. English having been used by the British colonies, Causan and native aboriginal coined their terms from fictional events, creatures or histories of some unsubstantial narratives. They obtained vocabularies from these wide sources and were later incorporated as part of the language. Examples of such terms are Larrikin which is a common term in Australia used to refer to a comical, unruly and rowdy behavior. Its source dates back to historical moments when Irish policeman in Melbourne court that the prisoner was "Larkin about". Some common animal names like kangaroo used worldwide were coined from misconception between the white settlers and the Aborigines (Goldberg & Smith, 1988). It was after the reply by the Aborigines "kanguru" meaning "I don't know". This resulted to Australian marsupial kangaroo's name. Other terms which resulted from fictions are; moomba, seppo, digger among others. In this language context, language used to be commended as having been influenced by fictional stories.
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In terms of sports, fictional stories explain the witnessed Australia's excellence in the sport Olympics and other sporting disciplines. Battles with the white invaders were described as the major boost which was harnessed generation after another. As a result of forest gathering and hunting, Australians are currently known to spend their money on gambling. This lifestyle is also attributed to the mischief that existed between the whites and the natives during colonial periods.
Australian culture depicted different dressing style. There exist the bush wear and light wear. Bushwear are those which were worn while traversing the bushes. They portray the historical time alleged by fictional literature to have been common in earlier time. The light wears are worn while in the beach. This dressing style signifies the forced assimilation witnessed in Australian history. During that time, the natives were forced to adapt the western culture of dressing.
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In conclusion, the fictional history about the Australian culture comprises the true and false stories. However, all bring the sense of influence on the nature of the culture to the Australian people.