If you are planning on moving to Sydney or going there as an international student, you must be worried about the Sydney cultural diversity and inclusion, wondering whether you would fit in or not. In that case, you can take a calm breath as Sydney culture is one of the most diverse in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to think of Sydney as a melting pot. The cultural diversity in Sydney is a world apart. With an exquisite mix of landscape, history, commerce, and neighbourhoods, Sydney is one of the top global cities in the world.
Sydney is the most populated city in Australia and belongs to the state of New South Wales as a capital city. It is located on the east coast of Australia. As of recently, about 39.2 percent of the population in only Greater Sydney is native to overseas areas. Sydney has a strong infrastructure, a booming economy, and world-class international education and so it is not shocking that out of 110,000 immigrants to Australia, more than half choose to settle in Sydney.
If you are considering this city to make your next home, keep reading to know more about the cultural diversity in Sydney and how you will merge right in.
Cultural Diversity In Sydney
Sydney culture is highly diverse, with multiple communities meshing in one place. The variety of artistic, religious, linguistic backgrounds present in Sydney is fascinating and fun.
The Emerald City, as Sydney is nicknamed, has an official population of 5367206 according to the latest census, which makes it a host to about 66 percent of the state of New South Wales’s population. Sydney saw massive immigration after World War II and has since gained the spot of the third most foreign populated city in the world right after London and New York. About 47.7 percent of the people residing in Sydney were born overseas. The population of Sydney is predicted to increase to over 8 million by 2061, owing mainly to immigration.
The Sydney culture is primarily a Western culture, some taken down from the British and some set-in place by the distinctive geography and location of Australia, the cultural mix of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and other Australian people. Australian cities were colonized by the British in 1788, and so the whole country witnessed waves of multi-ethnic immigration.
Most of the foreigners in the city represent England, New Zealand, India, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, but there are citizens of other countries as well. Other than English, Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, and Vietnamese are the languages frequently spoken in the lands of Sydney. A consensus in 2011 showed that more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney.
One major chunk of the foreign population in Sydney is taken up the international students who come to study for great education and stay for Sydney cultural diversity and inclusion. In 2020, there were 145000 international students residing in NSW, and there were 53000 more enrolled with the educational institutes of NSW attending classes online due to the pandemic. About 80 percent of these international students study in some university or college in Sydney.
While most of the population identifies as Catholic, Sydney has a vast number of Muslims, Anglicans, Eastern Orthodox followers, Buddhists, Hindus, and a small number of Jewish people as well. You can find a little sprinkle of various cultures and communities in the Sydney culture.
A Mesh Of Colorful Cultures – What can you expect in the Sydney culture?
There’s a little something for people from all sorts of backgrounds and countries. Mostly, you will find places brimming with cultures of Asia, Arab lands, Europe, and a few more parts of the world, giving proof of the cultural diversity in Sydney. For the Chinese, there is a whole Chinatown located in Central Sydney. Yum Cha boasts one of the best Chinese foods in Chinatown, but it is not limited to that area only. You can find branches of Yum Cha scattered all over Sydney, especially in Chinese majority neighbourhoods.
There are many Indian inhabitants, largely forming the international students in Sydney. While there are no predominantly Indian neighbourhoods, Indian eateries are spread across Sydney, and you won’t have to travel very far to find one. Another testament to the cultural diversity in Sydney is that Thai restaurants in the city are more in number than any place in the world except Thailand. Other than that, there is Malaysian, Indonesian, Turkish, and Vietnamese food in abundance.
Liverpool street in the city is known as Little Spain, and it began in 1962 with the opening of the Spanish Club, after which it grew by leaps and bounds. Now you can find Spanish food, classic Spanish music, dancing, clubs, and other tokens of Spain’s culture here, further expanding the cultural diversity in Sydney.
Italians made a place for themselves in Sydney during the gold rush of the 1950s. You can see the Italian culture embedded in monuments, statues, stone symbols, and architecture located in the suburbs of Sydney. Some of the most famous parts of Italian culture, like great pasta, chic fashion, and more, can be easily found in Leichhardt.
The Canterbury area in the city is a testament to growing cultural diversity in Sydney with a Muslim majority neighbourhood with Lebanese and other Arabic populations with eminent symbols of their culture. Korea Town, with Korean restaurants, grocery stores, and businesses, is located in the suburban area of Campsie. Besides these main dots in the Sydney culture, there are several other minor cultures dotted all over the city.
Festival Galore – What do different communities in Sydney celebrate?
Festivals are a core component of any area. They light up the place, people come together to present a united front, and there is a sense of collective happiness. But what festivals do the people of Sydney celebrate? Just like other places in the world, Sydney culture is host to several festivals related to different communities residing on the land.
One of the native festivals in the city is the Sydney festival. It takes place for a consecutive three weeks and attracts tourists from around the globe. There are local and international artists present during the festival for musical and classical performances.
To celebrate Sydney’s cultural diversity and inclusion, festivals of other communities are observed with as much zeal as the local festivals. Chinese New Year or lunar year is celebrated all over Sydney, where Chinese art is displayed, Chinese snacks are distributed, music is played, and large marches are held.
Film festivals for different cities are a part of Sydney culture. Some of them include Ghana International Film Festival, Arabic film festival, Italian film festival, and more.
An Arab festival that is a token of Sydney culture is the Muslim Writers festival held annually. Arabic Music festivals are part and parcel of cultural diversity in Sydney. Multicultural Eid festivals and fair happens a day after Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramazan for Muslims.
Deepavali fair Sydney is celebrated around the time of Diwali, which is the Hindu Festival of Lights. During this cultural festival, henna tattoos, Bollywood performances, Indian food, bazaars, lights, music, and more Hindu symbols are seen all around the city marking the cultural diversity in Sydney.
Common English festivals are observed with full sentiments such as Christmas, Easter, St. George’s Day, St. Clément’s Day, Halloween, Lammas’s festival, and several more.
Other festivals which are a part of the Sydney culture include the Festival of Winds or the Kite Festival at Bondi beach, Tropfest, Crave Sydney International Food Festival, Vivid Sydney Winter Festival, Spring Racing Carnival, and many more.
Sydney Cultural Diversity And Inclusion – What Are The Strategies For A Multicultural Sydney?
Sydney culture is one that prides itself on being diverse and accepting of all types of identities. Authorities work with various racial and religious communities to ensure cohesion in the city and all areas of the land.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are considered the natives of Australia. An advisory panel for Aboriginal and Torres Strait people is located in Australia to help reconciliation with culture and environment.
The city of Sydney is not biased against how people identify themselves. Proof of that is the fact that the city was the host to one of the highest populations of LGBTQ+ communities, with approximately 21.3 percent of people identifying as a part of the group. Sydney is known to be the focal point and central location for LGBTQ+ people.
Different days to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ communities are safely observed in Sydney, including Purple Day, Trans Day of Visibility, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and others. The LGBTQ+ Social Programs Officer works in collaboration with the neighbourhoods to deliver safe and diverse results for all.
There are about 36.7 percent of people who speak a different language than English, and you can find events, books, and other important stuff in multiple languages.
International students are a large part of the cultural diversity in Sydney, and so multiple steps are taken to ensure the best experience for these foreign communities. There are full guides and programs to show the way to international students. International Student Welfare Services Hub is set in place to provide any help students in Sydney might need, such as being stranded in the city amidst the pandemic, with their living expenses, online classes, accommodation, and more.
There are programs and communities to welcome international students so they can adjust easily. The International Student Leadership and Ambassador Program provide initiatives and activities in the community to ensure students from abroad have a fair chance to participate.
Other than that, there are support and funding programs for refugees seeking asylum in Sydney, with anti-racism messages being spread in all valleys of the city. With several inclusion action plans such as Inclusion Advisory Panel, Sydney has set itself up as the most open place for people with disability as well.
Anyone from a foreign land looking to seek help in Sydney can visit their official site, and everyone will find a place for themselves here. Moving to another country is probably one of the toughest decisions anyone can take in their life. If you are settling abroad for a job, studies, or just immigrating there to start anew, several fears and questions cross your mind. At the forefront is the question about the culture of the place.
If you have read the complete article here, you would know by now that you could relax about the cultural diversity in Sydney. Sydney culture is made for and from people all over the world. Whatever part of the world you are coming from, you will find a place for yourself here in the cultural diversity of Sydney. So, kick back and sip on a chill drink because you are about to embark on a very exciting chapter of your life with your move to Sydney.