find out how australians do things, how we see the world and the world sees us
Read the article in Daily Life, my latest blog find on Australian Life – Are we ashamed of Australian culture?. It’s all about what we call the ‘cultural cringe’ where (anglo) Australian’s have traditionally seen themselves as not cultured or worthy of having a true culture of their own so defer to other, especially European, cultures for historical and cultural depth and meaning.
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This web site presents the interventions of MICHAEL ROBERTS in the public realm with reference to Sri Lankan political affairs. It will embrace the politics of cricket as well. ROBERTS was educated at St. Aloysius College in Galle and the universities of Peradeniya and Oxford. He taught History at Peradeniya University and Anthropology at Adelaide university. He is now retired and lives in Adelaide.
Unfortunately, yes we are ashamed of Australian Culture – and I blame Keating for beginning the trend, Howard for strengthening it and both Abbot and Gillard for doing nothing to stop it. We were proud as punch of our heritage under Hawke.
I understand that our culture may seem less developed. We are, after all, a young country. However, if we wish to compare ourselves to Europe, we should view our selves as a young, vibrant culture full to the brim with potential as opposed to the old, staid, stale cultures of Europe. Such a shame that we do not see ourselves that way.
Just one point – I believe that NZ gave women the vote before we did?
Regarding your question about women’s suffrage, I don’t know (I didn’t write this article, it’s a reblog).
I don’t agree that Keating started off the cultural cringe. The term was actually coined just after the war and Henry Lawson (in the late 1900’s) talks about how, until they get their “London Hearing”, Australian writers are not considered worthy of credit. People have been leaving our shores for decades in search of proper ‘culture’. Clive James, Germaine Greer, Geoffrey Robinson, Patrick White, to name just a few. Still, it’s an interesting topic for discussion, isn’t it?
I agree that we have always had cultural cringe in that we were considered uncultured, while those overseas were not. However, Keating introduced a new kind of cultural cringe, in which our culture wasn’t just ‘not as good as’ but actually shameful. We always had low self-worth, but it is only relatively recently that we became ashamed to exist.