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10 of The Most Multicultural Cities In The World!

Culture January 5, 2017 By Vincent

The word is a mixed and eclectic place full of many varying joys and wonders, and each of its cities has a distinctive feel and flavor to it due to their locations, populations, and makeup but some cities have more of a mixed population than others which give them a diverse and enticing feel as global cultures mix and evolve with these city limits.

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Although unique in their own ways, here we look at 10 of the most multicultural cities in the world and see why their DNA is so gloriously ranged.

1. Amsterdam

The largest city in the Netherlands and its cultural capital, the city has long enjoyed an influx of different nationalities as it became an importing trading port in Europe and later a hub of artistic excellence. With around 178 different cultural backgrounds within the city, the friendly and warm mix of varying cultures and liberal ideals are part of what makes Amsterdam such a wonderful place.

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With such a range of different communities -and Dutch being known as a hard language to pick up- many language courses in the city are free and it openly celebrates its mixed heritage with cultural events such as the  DRONGO Festival, a celebration for multilingualism held at the Amsterdam Public Library.

2. London

The capital of the United Kingdom is one of the most multicultural cities in the world which has partially arisen from Britain's former colonial days with many residents having a background that comes from the commonwealth. That aside, its reputation as a financial, arts and cultural center of the world attracts many to its limits with well over 200 languages spoken in London although English remains the official language.

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Approximately one-third of Londoners are foreign-born and festivals that celebrate these different cultures happen throughout the year in the city such as Notting-Hill carnival typically having a West Indian feel to it whilst Russian Spring festival and Chinese New Year also happen to be massive events.

3. Los Angeles

In Southern California, Los Angeles is an incredibly multicultural city with people from approximately 140 countries speaking 86 different languages residing there. Not too far from the USA-Mexico border, many from South American countries come to the city which has immigrant-friendly laws and cultural districts that include Koreatown and Little Tokyo.

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With the rare distinction of being a city without a majority population, it truly does have a vibrant and eclectic feel brimming with the color and creativity of many different people.

4. Paris

Immigration is a bit of a hot topic in France at the moment (as, undoubtedly, it is in any other places around the globe) but Paris is in bloom with the flowers of other cultures. Exact numbers are hard to determine due to France's secular laws making it illegal to ask about ethnicity on censuses but independent surveys estimate immigrant numbers being somewhere between 14% to 20% with most of those coming from outside the European Union.

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With a Quartier Chinois (Chinatown) in the 13th arrondissement, this acts as a gateway to many Asian cultures whilst Belleville (10th, 11th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements) is a multicultural beauty made up of North African, Jewish and Asian ethnicities.

5. New York City

The United States is a country built on immigration and one of the first ports that immigrants would land in, historically, was often New York and the bustling metropolis, a banking and global arts center, remains somewhere people of many different communities feel they can call home. Made up of 5 boroughs, Queens is the most diverse with communities from India, Brazil, and Korea all staking a claim to their slice of the American Pie.

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Immigration-friendly, NYC established the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, which has created several executive orders and laws to help those who are coming from abroad and means that around 36% of the population was born in a different nation.

6. San Francisco

Another bastion of multicultural living in the state of California, San Francisco is a port city that saw many immigrants come in from across the globe in the early days of the US's founding and now around 36% of its population originate from outside America. The largest group of immigrants in the city comes from China, with its Chinatown being the hub of the community and boasting one of the best  Chinese New Year Festival and Parades in the world.

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Other sizeable immigrant communities include German, Italian, Mexican and Indian and this diverse collection of people and ideas has led to a liberal and forward thinking attitude that has heped foster the USA's tech hub.

7. Sao Paulo

Whilst Brasilia may be the capital and Rio De Janiero the most notable and globally recognized of Brazil's cities, Sao Paulo is the more culturally mixed and is quite possibly the most diverse city in South America. The waves of immigration to Sao Paulo began around 1870 and this has led to its multi-faceted makeup although immigration has become less prevalent in recent years.

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With Italian and Lebanese roots running through the city, districts such as Bela Vista, also known as Bixiga or Bexiga, offer a taste of Europe in the South American country whilst  Liberdade is the Japanese quarter of a city with a burgeoning culinary scene and juxtaposed religious landscape in a country that is otherwise predominantly Catholic.

8. Singapore

A city-state that only gained independence from the British Empire in 1965, Singapore has a rich history that saw the British claim it from Malaysia whilst both Chinese and Japanese occupation during WWII meant different directions in governance and population. Approximately 40% of the population is born abroad as it remains a financial center of the world drawing workers from across the globe.

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Malays, Indians, and Eurasians make up most of the immigrant base whilst a smaller amount of North Americans also make their way to the country. With four official languages including  Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil, English is the most predominantly spoken.

9. Sydney

On Australia's East Coast, Sydney is the country's most populous city with around 5 million residents of which 40% are from overseas. A cosmopolitan city filled with modern architecture and right on the beach, it is understandably popular and sees people from the UK, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Italy all making it their home.

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Asian and Thai influences are evident through the cuisine and the city often hosts cultural events that promote multicultural living including the month-long celebration of the city’s cultural diversity through a variety of festivals and other events called 'Living In Harmony'.

10. Toronto

The Canadian city is often referred to as 'the most diverse city in the world' with half of its population coming from other countries and boasting over 200 ethnic groups with over 140 languages spoken.with dozens of ethnic communities such as including Chinatown, Greektown, Roncesvalles Village (Little Poland), Little Italy, and Little India all being visible in the city some communities are fairly prevalent.

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Outside of those obvious ones, Iran, the Netherlands, Nepal and Romania have also made this international center of business, finance, arts, and culture their home.







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