It is indeed true that the world is getting smaller nowadays. More and more people are moving into different places for a myriad of reason, mostly for seeking greener pastures and finding their luck with hopes that they will earn higher income in places other than where they were raised. With this, more adjustments are necessary as someone who has been new in the place is indeed required to adapt to the new culture and environment in order to establish a living in that particular community. As more and more people are considering the possibility of immigration, more and more adjustments are taken into consideration as well. More often than not, immigrants were able to successfully adapt to the community of their choice because of the help of people around them and on efforts extended by the necessary groups to make them feel comfortable on what they will be considering as their new home for the next chapter of their lives. This paper will discuss briefly the Spanish community in Australia including present demographics and other information which are related into their way of living.
THE MELBOURNE COMMUNITY
The population at Melbourne is very diverse comprising of different groups of people from a variety of ages and mostly was from different countries with varying tradition and culture. Most of the residents in the city include young professionals, international students, and elder couples who were looking forward into enjoying the city or the rest of time that they still have. In a recent survey conducted in the United Sates, Melbourne is one of the most livable cities in the world outstripping Sydney. This was mainly attributed to multicultural diversity because of the increasing number of expatriates and immigrants residing in Melbourne. Part of the city’s population, which was mainly the reason why it was said to be diverse, include multicultural and indigenous communities. The city of Melbourne is said to have been the hub of the worlds most culturally diverse and harmonious nationalities, with residents from more than 140 nations brought about to the city by the four waves of migration in the city’s history. These waves of migration happened during the European settlement in the 1830’s, after the gold rush in the 1850’s, during the post-World War II, and lastly during the time that the number of international students increased dramatically. The welcoming city of Melbourne serves as home for international communities such as those from New Zealand, Korea, and United Kingdom.
SPANISH COMMUNITY IN MELBOURNE
One of the international identities residing along the suburbs of Melbourne, joining other nationalities, are those from Spain forming the Spanish community and is also being influenced by the Australian culture in just the same way that they bring their culture, traditions, and beliefs in the rich heritage which was inherent to Melbourne. The start of the migration of the Spanish community in Melbourne – the capital city of Victoria – is attributed to the gold rush were seafarers migrated into the place to try their luck. At that time, 80 % of the immigrants are men and it continued to increase over the next years including the women population in Victoria.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there is a significant number of Spanish Australians and the majorities of them live in the area of Sydney and Melbourne and also in Brisbane and Perth but with a significant lower population compared to the first two mention. The statistics also holds that there are 16,114 Spanish Australians which are residing in Melbourne, placing second after Sydney with a total of 29,230 Spanish Australian residents. In Melbourne, most of the Spanish population has been concentrated in Fitzroy, one of its suburbs. In Fitzroy, a number of Spanish establishments can be found which was attributed to the Spanish community living in its suburbs. During the year 1950’s, Spanish was even used as a language in schools in Victoria. This goes to show the acceptance of the Spanish community not just in Melbourne, but in Victoria in general.
MODE OF LIVING IN MELBOURNE
Just like any nationalities, most of which were with greater population in Melbourne compared to the Spanish, they have established their own lifestyle in Melbourne from dining and entertainment to their religion and other personal beliefs. There are a number of Spanish restaurants and clubs which abound the city in order for the Spanish community to experience Spanish living at the very heart of Melbourne. A number of civic organizations have been busy and very particular about putting up events and relevant organizations which will enhance the mode of Spanish lifestyle in the diverse city of Melbourne.
There is also a number of Spanish architecture in Melbourne which goes to show that the Spanish community has been in existent for ages, just that it really has no significant population in the community. The erection of the Barcelona Terrace is one example of architecture influenced by the Spanish community. Spanish cultural traces in Melbourne, as of today, has become more evident and obvious especially in the suburbs of Fitzroy with the existence of restaurants, clubs, houses, organizations, and other activities which are showing the rich Spanish culture. The very strength pf the Spanish community in Melbourne is the fact that they have been there, although in very small population, during the very early years of migration history in Melbourne. This gives them the fact that they have exposed their culture for long to gain acceptance from the Australian community.
It is evident that because of the relatively small population of the Spaniards living in Melbourne, too little attention has been given in them in terms of civic activities and other activities related to immigrant living. The Spanish community should be more active in establishing their rights as immigrant. Aside from their traditional celebrations commonly done in Fitzroy, they should spread more of their culture and make the Australian’s more aware of their heritage so that they will establish a better name in the city. Their relatively small population should not be able to hinder their function in the community.
- City of Melbourne; Multicultural Communities; Accessed on April 2, 2010 from http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutMelbourne/MelbourneProfile/Pages/Multiculturalcommunities.aspx
- Exploring Abroad; Living in Australia; Accessed on April 2, 2010 from http://www.exploringabroad.com/australia/living-in-australia.htm
- Fitzroyalty; The Spanish History of Fitzroy; Accessed on April 2, 2010 from http://indolentdandy.net/fitzroyalty/2009/05/22/the-spanish-history-of-fitzroy/
- Museum of Victoria Australia; History of Immigration from Spain; Accessed on April 2, 2010 from http://museumvictoria.com.au/origins/history.aspx?pid=57
- Valverde, Estella; Unlocking Australia’s Language Potential: Profiles of 9 Key Languages in Australia; 1994