Getting to know multicultural London
20 June 2019
In this article Ayesha, an SSW Communications and Projects Adviser talks about our wonderfully diverse city and how diverse cultures are celebrated in London and at UCL.
Being the largest city in the UK, London is also home to one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world. Approximately 1/3 of Londoners were born abroad and over 200 languages are spoken in the capital. The wide range of cultures and languages are celebrated in London in many different ways – mainly with amazing food and lively festivals.
UCL also celebrates multiculturalism by offering students a dynamic range of clubs and societies right at their doorstep. These clubs invite students to learn about the language and lifestyle of people from around the world; as well as giving students an environment to explore their own horizons and understand different cultures. There are over 250 different clubs and societies at UCL, highlighting just how diverse our campus is! Other events on campus include a week long display of shows, debates, and entertainment to celebrate Black History Month and an array of multicultural food stalls.
Being so centrally located, communities around UCL also provide students with a wealth of places and people so that they can feel both at home and/or explore the diversity that London has to offer. One of the biggest displays of culture in London is Notting Hill Carnival that takes place every summer. This parade provides a great atmosphere to sing, dance, and eat your way through the Caribbean culture of the area. Other street festivals include the London Mela, Chinese New year, St Patricks Day, and many more. These events show just how special London is, with people from all over the world living in harmony.
As well as culture, London also represents religions from all over the world. The city is a safe space for people of all faiths to practice their faith; and UCL has quiet contemplation rooms that are available for all students – whether it is to pray, meditate, read, or just to have a few quiet moments to themselves. In the wider city, London offers a wealth of churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples for everyone to use. These places of worship allow students to follow their beliefs as well as becoming part of a community.
With a whole host of different cultures comes a lot of delicious food! Restaurants and street stalls around London allow you to try out some new delicacies as well as treating yourself to some of your favourite dishes.
The heart and soul of London is owed to its multicultural population – without these great people, London just wouldn’t be the same!
Ayesha Khan, SSW Communications and Projects Adviser and UCL alumna