New year, new design!

With post about Adelaide I would like to start a new series of posts under the motto  “What I admire in… What I like”

Last four months I have travelled extensively – being in Great Britain, China and Australia, experiencing exiting conversation with people, visiting amazing places and enjoying the commonalities and differences between cultures.  As Interculturalist I spot many aspects of culture, which seems to me extraordinary, sometimes different from my own (Polish) but what I really remember is what I admire in the culture…And this I would like to share with you. As I believe in learning by example and when sharing best practices, so I share with you my impression of WOW when travelling intercultural.

Enjoy reading!

And enjoy  What I admire  in Australia!

Wiola Malota

What I admire in Australia?

Photo: Wiola Malota, made at the Adelaide’s airport

When I visit a country I like to connect with it. As I like nature, art, culture and harmony I look at the country trough these lenses.
Adelaide is the place where it was easy for me to connect with it, shout “ Wow” and find its soul.

First WOW

When being abroad I like to read local newspapers to know what is going on, what is the focus of interest of journalists (and in consequences of a society), what is the spirit of the country?
To my delight I have spotted articles presented people, who are candidate for „Pride of Australia Medal 2013” ( This is the project, which recognises people achievements in different categories like:

Care and Compassion Medal, Child of Courage Medal,
Community Spirit Medal, Courage Medal, Environment Medal, Fair Go Medal, Heroism Medal, Inspiration Medal, Outstanding Bravery Medal, Young Leader Medal.

Everybody can send the nomination – as everything is done public on webpage and vote as well.
When I read the profiles of the nominees I was enchanted to have opportunity to read about acts of courage, activities making big difference, involvement which changes society for better.
I feel much better than reading information about murders, accidents and all crimes.
The contact with profiles of such amazing people made me not only believing in good nature of people but also I have raised myself the question “In which category could I be proud for what I am doing?” This was the opportunity for insight in myself, for gaining more self-esteem and doing more action plan for sharing and contributing to society.

I really admire this action, I find it as  “touching all good emotions” and very effective way not only to let feel people be proud, but the way to change the world for better!

I admire everything in this action – from logo of  “Pride of Australia Medal 2013” which is a shape of country filled with blue spots – typical way to point by indigenous artists (and impressionists) and red heart, to the categories of medal – which reflect values of the country, to the way of doing this – by public nomination and voting. I wish Poland had such kind of program. When reading this post it came to my mind only Contest for most stupid public speech or sentence (prize is called “Wry Mouth”).  Every year Polish press is publishing list of 100 most rich persons, but there was not such idea to honour people who are extraordinary and contribute to the big change in society.

Second WOW – Approach to Fine Arts

I like the way that fine arts are in Adelaide’s museums are presented.

Firstly – I admire the decision that admission to all museums is free – it makes art more accessible for all. As relation with fine arts makes people more sensible, insightful and broad their map of the world, I find this decision as contribution to better society and world.
For me – with every next visit in the Adelaide’s museum I have discovered not only new pieces of work, but have bought next new book in the museum shop.

Secondly – I like the descriptions, which accompany the picture, especially of indigenous artists.   They quote not only the name of artists, but they relation (or example – mother and daughter), but her or his status and what is the picture presented. I find is marvellous, as it make me possible to decode the picture.
I like the picture of Morgan Thomas THE HUMAN CONDITION  – which is the written text about human condition. Last sentence from the text speaks to me much:
“Is our humanity located in our morality or social status, or revealed more truthfully in the personal vulnerability of each individual?”

Third WOW – free city tram

I do not know the reason for decision of free transportation with tram and one line of tourist bus in Adelaide, but again for me as a tourist, it was nice surprise and  a comfort as I had no need to bother about where to buy  a ticket and I could seen more places. My intensive sightseeing and money which I have spent has brought more money to the city revenues than from tickets (I suppose so!)

Forth WOW – the cultural traits

I like Australian straightforwardness, low context of communication, low power distance.
It is my preferred way of behaviour (not typical for Polish person), so I have felt very comfortable there, as at home or maybe even better. I like an easy way of living and joyful approach to life of Australians. The last is my opinion – a person living in stressed society, due to statistic – hardest worked population in Europe.
Due to openness of the people, easy way to relate with others, I have  met a lot of people and could make good relation. It is interesting – but this openness I have observed not only with Australians, but also with foreigners living there – e.g Chinese student, doing there her PhD study.  It is the case that environment can change the cultural orientation? It was the subject researched by Richard Nisbett.
I think that mentioned cultural orientations (due to Hofstede and Hall) of Australians support diversity and social welfare of the country.

Fifth WOW – the city

I liked the way that the city was planned – straight streets, downtown easy to walk around (2 miles x 2 miles), a lot of space, sculptures integrated into the landscape, a lot of trees (in November blossoming in lily), no big megastores, clean air and no hurry.

I wish I could be longer in Australia!

See more photos and insight