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Culture & Identity of Austria

Introduction

Austria's way of life is most heavily dependent on location as the life in the Alps differs significantly from that of life in Vienna or any other large city. None-the-less, the people are tied with a similar history, language, and culture. In fact, even most of the people work in the services industry, no matter if they live in a more urban or rural setting.

Nearly 70% of the people are urbanized in Austria, as the other 30% live in towns and villages of all sizes and settings, ranging from mountains to fields. However, only a very small percentage of the people work in agriculture, in fact only about 6% of the people. Heavy industry is a bit more prevalent with about a quarter of the working population in this sector; most of these people live in the cities.

While farmers live and work off the land and what the land gives them, most people in Austria work in a services position and the work hours and daily life is much more consistent and predictable. For most working Austrians the work day begins at about 8:00 am and ends at about 6:00 pm, but many entertainment industries have late hours, such as the many restaurants and bars found throughout the country. Austria is financially stable and most people make enough money to have some discretionary income to enjoy meals and drinks out, leading to a large number of jobs in these industries.

For the children of Austria, school is standard as nearly every Austrian child attends school, which most people view as being very important in the country. School generally runs from early September to late June or early July. Like most jobs, school begins at about 8:00 am, but only runs to about noon or early afternoon.

Evenings and weekends in Austria are generally only limited by time. Every individual has a different idea on how to spend this free time. Many Austrians love the outdoors and on weekends head to the mountains to ski or hike, head to a lake for a relaxing couple days, attend an opera, museum, or sporting event, or just hit the varied nightlife in their local town or city. Of course, family is also important to many Austrians so many of these events are family affairs. However, due to school work and after school activities evenings during the school year can be busy with activities for families with kids.

Identity

The Austrians identify in multiple ways, but primarily as "Austrians," which is a reference to the nation they belong to, not their ethnicity. Some however do define themselves by their local ethnicity, greater ethnicity (German), the region they are from, or even Europe as a whole. Despite the many ways to identify, the people tend to unite as one and see each other as one people, no matter how each individual identifies.

This page was last updated: November, 2013