Browsing | London Guide

Culturally London: A Guide to Englishness

Culturally London: A Guide to Englishness
Quite a lot of people have striven to define ‘Englishness’ and failed in fact English culture is really a mixed culture, having assimilated the best from many other cultures. Racially the English are Celts, Romans, Vikings, Saxons, Normans, with a handful of lesser traits thrown in for good measure. The colonial past has made the city more cosmopolitan than any other. Class is still often more important than color, though its boundaries shift with the winds. The English have always admired foreigners, and have imported other cultures, languages and foods, giving them a unique turn. The main distinguishing trait of the English is the aplomb. The stiff upper lip and the seeming endless capacity to put up with the unspeakable was given a boost during the blitz when Londoners faced the might of the Nazi bombing campaign and terrible hardships with a cheerfulness that was almost pathological. London is one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world. Where else can you order breakfast in Farsi, book a taxi in Urdu, ask for afternoon coffee in Arabic and spend the evening chatting with your friends in Cantonese? Over 300 languages are spoken in this very city. London is certainly the capital for multicultural events and festivals, and hosts the biggest celebrations for the Chinese, Sikh, Bengali and Hindu New Years. London also boasts some of the greatest festivals in the world , one can witness anything from Turkish belly dancers to 4 x 4 Bhangra dancers, Bharatanatyam dancers to flamenco dancers and Russian classical ballet to Mexican Folklorico. Students play a crucial role in making London so dynamic and your experience in this city will provide one with a network of friends from all over the world. London offers a fantastic diversity of population and supports a myriad of different lifestyles.People of all ages and backgrounds flock to London for many different reasons. They include improved work prospects, better wages, a higher standard of living and the stimulation of living in a bustling metropolis. The city’s lifestyles vary considerably and the options are endless. From nightlife to sport, shopping to theatre, art to dining there’s always something to do and people to meet. London’s long-standing ethnic diversity is an important factor in its popularity with settlers from overseas. The strong economy of the City draws many people including graduates from around the country and beyond. The presence of large numbers of long- and short-term visitors also adds to London’s vibrancy. As with all big cities, there can be issues with traffic congestion, crowded public transport, long working hours and high costs of living but there are ample compensations and ongoing improvements on many fronts. London is frequently likened to a collection of villages. Clusters of local shops, markets, parks, leisure centers and other venues help foster a feeling of local community within a conurbation of seven million people. Some areas have a particularly strong identities and associations making London a world in one city. The capital continues to draw newcomers all the time and it is a ....read more

Traveling to London For an Unforgettable Experience

Traveling to London For an Unforgettable Experience
London is one of the cultural capitals of Europe and has loads of sightseeing and activities for tourists of all ages. There are an innumerable amount of things to see and do in London but here are some “must see” sights that shouldn’t be left out of your travel itinerary. The British Museum is vast and is so big that seeing everything in one day is near impossible. The Greek and Egyptian exhibits are especially impressive and are considered by some to be the best permanent museum installations of their kind. The British Airways London Eye can be seen from all over central London; it is the tallest observation wheel in the world. Views from this wheel are impressive to say the least and it will give you a better orientation for your remaining sightseeing. St. Paul’s Cathedral is over 300 years old and remains a spiritual landmark for Great Brittan. It has hosted weddings and funerals for Great Brittan’s royalty and leaders. The architecture is impressive and a beautiful piece of history. The National Gallery located at Trafalgar Square is another must see that is impossible to cover in just one visit. The art contained at the National Gallery ranges from Leonardo da Vinci to Monet and is sure to impress even those who are not art savvy. The London Zoo at Regents Park is home to an impressive amount of animals and is a big draw for families with children. There are daily animal shows and it is so large that two days should be given to see the entire park. Another gallery that is sure to interest all ages is the Tate Modern Museum. The art installations use different kinds of mediums and range from Andy Warhol to Matisse. The building itself is a work of art and is a “must see” on your trip to London. The Tower of London is another sight not to be missed. It was built of bricks imported from France and is most popular for its many executions. It was even dubbed the “bloody tower” after it was speculated that Richard III murdered his nephews there. Another museum to take in is the Natural History Museum which contains one of the world’s largest collections of dinosaur fossils. This is another big hit with the children but is sure to impress adults as well. If you’re in the mood for a fun and frightful experience do not miss The Madame Tussaud’s Experience. It’s a wax museum full of ghoulish figures; some of them are electronically animated which adds to the excitement. Finally a trip to London would not be the same without a visit to Westminster Abbey which has become one of London’s most stunning churches. It is not only an architectural masterpiece but it is also the burial place for many famous figures. London is a fun and exciting city for all ages. Ensure you include as many “must see” sights as possible to get the full London experience and the most out of your vacation. ....read more