Australia honors 'ordinariness'

Essay by jack_blackHigh School, 12th gradeA+, August 2006

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Australia is a society where people of all backgrounds are embraced, and the nation would not be able to function without the participation of unique individuals. We are a country that promotes multiculturalism and cultural diversity, and people are free to express their distinct beliefs and values. In many cases, people are honored for being extraordinary- in sport, talented players are nationally recognized and have prizes and medals bestowed upon them. The nation also holds festivals in recognition and celebration of a broad spectrum of backgrounds, such as Mardi gras, Chinese New Year, and St Patrick's Day etc. Unique social groups such as truckies, politicians, and rugby players pride themselves on their distinction from others, indicating that ordinariness is not highly honored. This said, 'ordinariness' in the sense of values common to most Australians is also highly valued in Australia. Morals such as democracy, peace, and tolerance of others are traits that are held highly, and are endorsed as 'what it means to be Australian'. Hence it is only adherence to a set of unwritten rules that is honored in Australia, and not simply 'ordinariness', or a completely homogeneous society. It has only been in recent times that a change in the mindset of Australians has lead to the appreciation of divergent beliefs and attitudes. So while 'ordinariness' is welcomed on the whole in Australia, it is not honored above all else, because our nation honors both ordinariness and extraordinariness.