Five breath-taking, culturally diverse cities you need to visit right after the lockdown
Many of the world’s best-known cities are multicultural and have successfully adopted a variety of cultures and ethnicities from around the world. This is understood to enhance creativity and innovation, help the local economy, and create additional employment opportunities; and also adds to the richness of our society and culture.
New York is known as the cultural capital of the world and is home to many immigrants including Irish, who arrived in the country in waves over the last number of centuries. The arrival of people from different cultural backgrounds deeply influences how New York is today.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Art is one of the most differentiating aspects of a culture. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is America’s largest museum and is located in the heart of Manhattan, New York. This museum is home to two million works of art, such as ancient Egyptian art, European sculpture, decorative arts, and the Greek and Roman arts. The Met is a must-go location when staying in New York.
A small neighbourhood in lower Manhattan called Little Italy has attracted the eyes of many culture-seeking tourists who travel to New York. Known for its rich culture, Little Italy is home to small Italian bakeries, restaurants and souvenir shops where you can stroll around and experience the unique Italian atmosphere. If you plan on travelling to Little Italy, make sure you do it around September, as celebrations of San Gennaro commence around this time of the year.
46% of residents in Canada’s most populous city are foreign-born, according to Statistics Canada’s 2016 census. Toronto has over 250 ethnicities and 170 foreign languages in everyday use and is home to Indian, Chinese, and Philipino communities. The people of Toronto are very proud of their multiculturalism after being crowned the most multicultural city in the world in 2016 by BBC Radio.
If you watch superhero movies, you’d recognise Casa Loma as the filming location for the famous X-Mansion in the X-Men franchise. Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival style mansion located in Toronto. This early 20th-century mansion is now a museum and landmark where visitors can enjoy the “Dark Side of Toronto” photo collection and the beautiful gardens where there is live music every Monday during summer.
Chinatown is a Chinese ethnic area in downtown Toronto, which also includes an Indian community. Chinese immigrants in downtown Toronto moved into the Chinatown area in the 1950s and 1960s. If you walk down Gerrard Street West, you will also find yourself next to Toronto’s Ethiopian and East African cuisines. Chinatown is a great place to explore Toronto’s collection of Asian and African restaurants and cuisines.
The UK’s largest city has a population of approximately 8.9 million, one-third of that number being foreign-born Londoners. There are over 250 foreign languages spoken in London, and it is home to vibrant multicultural customs from all over the world.
Notting Hill Carnival
At the end of the Second World War, Caribbean-born people settled in Notting Hill for a better life. The Notting Hill Carnival celebrates Caribbean culture, and it is known as Europe’s biggest street party. Over two million people attend this culturally enriched party every year. If you’re a fan of colourful festivals and delicious Caribbean food, you will love the Notting Hill Carnival.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple is in Neasden, London. This temple is known to be the biggest Hindu temple outside of India. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) is a Hindu established fellowship founded on Hindu beliefs and values 200 years ago. The construction of the temple began in 1992 and finished in 1995. There is no doubt that you will leave this temple in a relaxed and mindful state of mind.
Amsterdam is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe, with a population of approximately 800,000 people and over 180 foreign languages spoken. The city is home to Moroccans, Turks, and Surinamese, amongst others. Amsterdam is a city widely known for arts and culture, with some of the most well-known painters, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, on display.
Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is a biographical museum located in Amsterdam, dedicated to the Second World War diarist Anne Frank. Established after the war, the Anne Frank Foundation protected Frank’s home from demolition and today the museum hosts exhibitions and tours, offering an insight into Anne Frank’s life as a Jew during the Nazi period. If you are a fan of history and Anne Frank’s diary, this museum is definitely worth the flights.
Herengracht is the canal part of Amsterdam’s canal belt. The construction of Herengracht began in the early 17th century. The canal was home to Amsterdam’s rich and powerful people and remains so to this day. Amsterdam’s oldest residences lie in the heart of these waterways. The homes along these canals belonged to traders who earned their fortune from trading with South America and the Dutch East Indies.
Los Angeles (LA), also known as the “City of Angels”, is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. Half of the city’s population is Latino, 11% are African-American, and 10% are Asian. LA attracts people of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds because of its well-known success in the film industry and performing arts. Everyone wants to be a Hollywood star.
The Getty Villa
If you are interested in Greek and Roman architecture and art, the Getty Villa is the right place for you. Focused on the study of the ancient arts in Greece, Rome and Etruria, the Getty Villa is an education centre and museum located on the Malibu coast of LA. This spectacular villa is home to over 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating back as far as 400 AD. The museum also has Roman-inspired gardens, with 300 species of plants. If only we had a place like this to stroll around while also maintaining the 5 km rule.
Japanese American National Museum
The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) celebrates Japanese-American culture and is situated in Little Tokyo in downtown LA. The museum has a collection of more than 130 years of Japanese-American history; and includes paintings, textiles, artefacts, and photographs. The museum also contains a former Buddhist temple, a 200-seat theatre, a pavilion, and a plaza. This place is a potential hangout spot for anime and samurai lovers too.
These cities must be on your to travel list once the country opens back up. Let us know what multicultural city you think should be on the list.