Typically Australians talk about traditional and modern in the terms of moral values. Modern is seen as being more liberal, traditional more conservative. I think that all of these are an abuse of the term. There have been times and civilisations where being say, sexually promiscuous would be the norm, long before the Victorian era of foolish moral values. And I think that people who look back at those times as being something wonderful are some of the ones you should accuse of seeing the world through rose coloured glasses.
When I talk of a place being modern, being an engineer, I mean that it is technologically and socially developed compared to earlier eras and times. A modern world is one where scientific rather than mystical endeavours are at the fore and technology well developed. I agree that this is quite a moving target. I also have quite a lot to say about mysticism as practised by all religions but I will talk more on that later.