It’s really interesting to be living in such a huge metropolitan city; I’ve seen everything I think—from the cockney homeless, to the uber posh Kensington dweller. I thought it would be predominantly Caucasian here, which is mostly true, but London culture is very diverse.
I saw my first full burka on the street the other day, it was really strange because I’d never seen one with my own eyes before, sure I see hijabs all the time, but the burka was a new one. Instead of going into the religion and practices of another culture, I will just say that London has shown me little glimpses into the world around me.
Some of the people here don’t even speak English or Spanish, a lot speak French or some Eastern European language. I had to speak a little French, from what I remember in high school, and it was really weird.
Usually in America I overhead Spanish speaking people, but here there was a lot of different languages, some of which I’d never really heard before. I wrote about some of the racial tensions about living here in London, especially in the political arena, with the British National Party (BNP) which are a more conservative group in parliament.
It should be noted that conservatives in the UK are a bit different than the ones in the US, as here there is socialized healthcare and other big government operations. One of my professors told us that Britain’s move away from capitalism was because of the devastation from World War II, people wanted a more providing and large government.
I think some people are afraid of the UK’s new direction, I hear it from time to time, whether it is at a bar or walking down the street. People are leery of this new cultural hotspot, especially Pakistani people who have migrated here for solace or a better job.
Like most places, things aren’t perfect, there’s still a big problem with knife crimes and other violent acts, especially in East London, but I’m optimistic that England is on its way towards becoming an exemplary nation.