The ACT Cultural Dictionary
The ACT Cultural Dictionary is a MARSS project funded by the Office of Multicultural Affairs in 2012.
The Cultural Dictionary contains basic information on topics such as population, ethnic composition, language, religion, general attitudes, personal appearance, greetings, gestures, visiting and eating habits, lifestyle, family and marriage practices of people from a variety of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. The cultural snapshots are listed by country, and in general, residents from the countries in the book are represented in the ACT. The main English speaking countries are not included, as the focus is on linguistic diversity. Unfortunately, not all linguistically diverse countries with residents in the ACT were able to be included within the scope of this revision, nor were ethnic minorities that are not bound to a particular country.
The Cultural Dictionary is a sampling of cultures only. Users need to be aware that cultures are complex, dynamic, and always changing. National boundaries shift, new nations are formed and minorities sometimes leave their country of origin because of turmoil, persecution or civil war. It is important to recognise that refugees coming here under the Humanitarian Program often originate from an ethnic or religious minority within a country. Therefore the norms of the mainstream culture described in the Cultural Dictionary may not be true for all individuals from that country.