Autumn in two worlds

This weekend, I spent a day at Sydney’s iconic Blue Mountains with an old friend. The changing colours of the autumn leaves drew us there, and the reds and yellows were truly beautiful. I was busily snapping pictures on my phone and posting the beautiful scenes on WeChat, and receiving lovely comments and likes instantly from my friends all over the world. The weather was beautiful, the air was crisp, and it was a very memorable day.

As we filled our hands with fallen leaves and pine cones, we felt lucky that we had visited at the right time to experience the beauty above us, around us, and under our feet.

But the day set me thinking too.

Our outing felt like a totally Chinese experience as around 90 per cent of the sight-seers were speaking Chinese! You see, in China, strolling around to enjoy the changing leaves is a traditional activity. For many, it is a time to visit the hills as they turn from green to red and yellow and all the colours in between. It’s a brief period of time before all the leaves fall, which makes the experience even more special.

Above: Most visitors were in the more cultivated gardens rather than in the bush or parks. They were excited by the surrounding colours, and happily posing with family and friends in a myriad of ways. (Image Credit: Aaron Rusden)

What I experienced on the weekend was squarely in line with what the MCX Lifestyle Survey recently revealed about migrants.

Chinese in Australia – and indeed multicultural audiences in Australia – live in two cultural worlds.

As they settle into a new life in Australia, they seek out opportunities to explore and discover new experiences, but prefer experiences that are emotionally and culturally appealing. Such experiences in the new context often bring the two worlds together. Autumn excursions in the Blue Mountains is a perfect match – it’s new and it’s traditional; it’s wild and it’s planned; it’s nature and it’s culture.

As migrants bring their two cultural worlds together, they follow broad-ranging topics, discover new opportunities and create new fusions. In fact, travel and holidays are a number one passion for the Chinese migrant community in Australia.

And how did the Chinese groups find out about the Blue Mountains? Many people – including my friend and I – had referred to WeChat for guidance. There are in-language posts detailing where and when to go. It was no wonder that the area attracted so many Chinese seasonal visitors!

My outing over the weekend truly reinforced the key learning:

Brands wanting to connect with multicultural audiences need to understand the audience’s cultural needs, and satisfy these desires in new ways.

By Kaiyu Li
MCX Director – Strategy & Insights
A proud Chinese Australian, insights and research guru who loves connecting people with brands

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