Living in London comes with its own set of challenges (read: prices – for anything from food to travel; the TFL having problems every other day; the sheer amount of people constantly around you – the list goes on), but it also comes with its irreplaceable pros.
The list of those is vast, but an important part of it is due to how incredibly important multiculturalism is to what London represents. It allows the city to be what it currently is – one of the biggest cultural and economical hubs in the world.
Access to items from all over the world.
You can find anything you want in London – food from anywhere in the world (Shiitake mushrooms are commonplace and can be found in any grocery store, just as plantains, yam, Bulgarian ljutenica and a lot of other things); household items from anywhere in the world are just as available; clothes and merchandise from anywhere in the world… whatever you want to try out, the possibility of finding it in London is very, very high.
Restaurants from wherever.
Are you feeling Colombian food? Vietnamese? Maybe Ethiopian? Georgian? Or some authentic American BBQ?
Do not worry, for all of that and much, much more can be found all over London. One of the beauties of multiculturalism is the ability to find a multitude of restaurants, cafés, market stalls serving authentic cuisines from all places possible – whether you want to go out for the evening, or order takeout.
Anything from Chipotle to Nobu is available to you at all times; you just need a reservation, sometimes. But that’s fair game, right?
Friends in (various) high places.
Another benefit of multiculturalism is the sheer amount of people moving to, and passing through London at all times. A lot of people move here for studies and/or work; even more – come for tourism and travel purposes all of the time.
All of that gives you a unique opportunity to communicate with people from backgrounds vastly different to yours, which will help you learn more about the world, other people’s habits and useful tricks. (Did you know that if you burnt a pot while cooking then boiling vinegar in it should help clean it all off?)
It will also allow you to have connections in various corners of the world, which is always fun – be it for business, travel or simple companionship. The girlfriend in Canada might become a very real thing.
The communities are numerous.
Multiculturalism is so deeply tied into London’s essence that the whole city is a giant conglomeration of small communities from all over the world – and traveling between boroughs serves as an extremely good demonstration.
Go to Edgware Road, Westminster, for London’s main concentration of the Arab community. Then go to Brick Lane, Shoreditch for London’s Bangladeshi community (that earned the area the nickname Banglatown). Go to New Malden for London Koreans, Kensington and Chelsea for Russians; the list goes on and on.
This incredible variety is what allows for London to have such a large amount of international merchandise, produce, restaurants and whatnot – it’s all held up by the actual communities it all originates from.
It also allows you to experience truly unique things – from smoking real shisha, to visiting Orthodox churches, without leaving the city.
Endless big festivals and celebrations
London is Europe’s capital for festivals and fairs; especially so for vast international ones. Good examples of such would be the Notting Hill Carnival (Caribbean culture and artistry), The London Mela (Southeast Asian family festival), and many more. The Chinese New Year celebration here is considered to be the biggest outside of Asia. That’s pretty dope, right?