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Tuesday
Jun062017

5 Cool Multicultural Cities 

Cities like Paris, London and New York are known for being multicultural melting pots, attracting people from all over the world to either settle there or to witness their colourful diversity. But such multicultural attractions can be found in a lot of other places in the world, too. We’re here to give you a taste of 5 more cool multicultural cities that are definitely worth a visit.

 New Delhi

Centuries of global trade, occupation and colonisation have made New Delhi a centre of different cultures, religions and traditions. Aside from the main religion of Hinduism, the city also houses many of Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Jain faiths. This diversity of worship not only shapes the urban landscape, with impressive temples, mosques and churches, but also cultivates a colourful variety of tradition. As well as being a large bureaucratic, business and cultural centre, the city attracts a lot of people from around India, and as a result of this the city’s culture is heavily influenced by the customs of neighbouring states like Rajastan and Punjab.  The architecture in the old Mughal capital of Old Delhi and the buildings of the British Raj in New Delhi blend with modern skyscrapers, making strolling through the city streets a spectacle of the new, the old and the even older.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib and its sarovar (pool), in New Delhi, India | Ram SinghSingapore

Talk a walk through Chinatown in Singapore, and you’ll come across the Hindu Sri Mariamman Temple, located only a short walk away from the nearby Jamae Mosque. To say that Singapore is a kaleidoscope of cultures is not an understatement, given its varied multicultural heritage that has characterised the island city even before it gained independence. While at first glance the city is a cluster of impossibly clean streets and towering skyscrapers, look closely and you’ll find noise, colour and scents hiding beneath the surface. Go to any food market (if there’s one thing that’s abundant here, its food) and you’ll typically find stalls selling Indian, Malay and Chinese cuisine at the very least. The communal spaces of Singapore’s characteristic housing block estates are popular post-wedding celebration venues, inviting local neighbours to join in on traditional festivities regardless of their origin.

Flickr | Brian Evans Leicester

Forget London for a moment - let’s have a look at Leicester. The city boasts a thriving multicultural population, ranging from 19th century Irish and Italian migrants to post-war Eastern European migrants  and later Afro-Caribbean, African and Asian arrivals. The variety of shops, festivals and places of worship reflect Leicester’s unique multicultural diversity. From Caribbean carnival to St. George’s festival to Diwali celebrations, the city buzzes with accessible and inclusive traditions.

The Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower is a prominent landmark at the main pedestrian junction in central Leicester | NotFromUtrechtToronto

Recently hailed as “the most diverse city in the world” by the BBC, the streets of Toronto are incredibly diverse. With 51% of the city’s population born outside of the country, Toronto houses over 200 different nationalities. And  generally,  people love it - the multicultural metropolis considers its diversity as part of its branding and legacy.  Here you’ll find various cultural neighborhoods such as Chinatown, Greektown, Little India and even Little Malta. Whether you’re looking for Greek pastries or Chinese dragon dancers, the city has got you covered in this multicultural melting pot.

Flickr | paul bica


Sao Paolo

The city of Sao Paolo boasts the longest history of international immigration in Brazil, with arrivals hailing from places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Most interestingly, Brazil houses the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, with roughly 1.5 million Japanese-Brazilians living in the country. This wave of immigration started as recently as the early 20th century, when Japanese workers arrived as part of an agreement between the two countries to bring foreign labourers to Brazilian farms. So if you’re looking for a Friday night combination of sushi and samba, the central neighborhood of Liberdade is full of Japanese restaurants, bars and shops, and has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for those visiting the city.  

Flickr | Ana Paula Hirama

So there you are: 5 cool multicultural cities that are definitely worth checking out. Think we’ve left some important ones out? Let us know about your multicultural city of choice!

 

By Laura Hallensleben - Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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