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Things to Know About London

Updated on March 12, 2011

London is commonly seen as a big collection of villages. There are clusters of local markets and shops, with parks and leisure centers. This give a feeling of a local community existing within a conurbation featuring seven million people. Many areas hold particularly strong associations and identities, which makes London a world of its own within one city. It's a city that is forever changing.

The colonial history has made London more of a cosmopolitan type than anything else. Class is still seen as being more important than color, even though this viewpoint changes with the wind. The English have always been admirers of foreigners, and have managed to import many other languages, cultures, and foods, and have put a unique twist on them.

Their most distinguishing English trait is the aplomb. Their stiff upper lips and endless capacity for putting up with things unspeakable, is a definite trademark. It was given a real boost while during the Blitz they faced the Nazis and their bombing campaign. They endured horrible hardships, and did so with an eerie cheerfulness that was borderline pathological.

London has a long standing ethnic diversity, which is a main component of its popularity. Their strong economy draws a lot of foreigners, including many graduates from across the country and well beyond. It's vibrant due to the many long term and short term visitors. There are at times issues with traffic congestion, but that exists in all big cities. They have long work hours and the cost of living is high, but improvements are constantly being made in all areas.

There are more than 300 languages spoken in London. Nowhere else can you order your breakfast in Farsi, then book your taxi in Urdu, ask for your afternoon coffee using Arabic, and spend the rest of your evening chatting with friends in Cantonese. 

London is definitely the capital of multi-cultural festivals and events. It is host to the biggest celebrations of the Chinese, Hindu, Bengali, and Sikh New Years. It can boast of having the greatest live festivals in all the world. You can see anything from flamenco dancers to Turkish belly dancers, and from Bharatanatyam dancers to Russian Classical Ballet. If you like, you can also catch some Mexican Folklorico. It is students that play a very crucial role in the making of London as a dynamic experience. Here you can have a network of friends that come from all across the world.

London can offer you a very diverse population that supports a whole myriad of various lifestyles. There are people from all backgrounds and all ages. They come to London for many reasons. Some come to work, others to improve their standard of living. Many love the stimulating life of a bustling metropolis. The number of various lifestyles is endless. From their nightlife to sports, from shopping to theater, and from dining to art, you can always find something fresh and new to do, and ways to meet new people.

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