Friday, February 25, 2011
London Series part 1 - The Internationality
Being the second time I was traveling to London, I knew exactly what to expect as of its inhabitants. I remembered the friendliness and the openness they would want to help you in any of your questions. Most of them do not have British roots, so let's take a look at the internationality of this city.
Around the year 43 A.C. the Emperor Claudius creates the province called "Londinium", transforming it really soon in a commercial point. Now, commerce, as you all know it, attracts people who want to buy and sell, hence, make trade, therefore not from just one part of the world, but from many.
Later on in history, London was the centre of the British Empire, which attracted migration from the collonies towards this city in search, probably, of a better life. Today it has become the most cosmopolitan city in Europe for sure. It is said that there are 550 overseas banks in London - more than in other city of the world. Also, the most international calls in the world are made to and from London. There are over 300 languages spoken every day there, being also a financial and legal centre of the world. And it is one of the most visited cities in the world. What greater proof is needed than going out there and noticing yourself, without having read all this data before? At the airport I bought my shuttle bus ticket from an Afro-American lady, was driven on the bus by a British guy, got off at Baker stree and the first coffee shop I see is French. People around me are American, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish etc. There comes my friend who picks me up, so we are 2 Romanians. At her dorm we meet a girl with British and Italian roots and then have lunch with a girl from the Ukraine. During all my stay I noticed all the employees at museums, venues, restaurants, shops etc,...each and every one of them from a diffrent background. I ate British, French, Korean, Chinese and Italian cuisine... in just 7 days...it was a delight.
I am sure that this international spirit makes London a city that is very vibrant and constantly on the move. And it makes you be yourself and still be part of a community. It makes you competitive and culturally aware of the world around you (with all the collections from around the world in the free access museums). It makes you smile because you know how a melting pot looks like!