A Place to live

London is a collection of villages joined over time. Londoners are natives of Tooting or Havering, Bethnal Green or Harrow, of long-established communities each with their own characteristics and histories, Subtle differences between North and South of the river, between the East and West Ends, between the inner and outer suburbs are expressed in building styles and materials, accents and settlement patterns.
In medieval London people of similar trades tended to group together. This is reflected in the street names of the City, such as Poultry or Milk Street. In the larger London of today Fitzrovia, the area around Fitzroy Square, has long been considered a haunt of artists, writers and craftsmen and several areas have a certain bohemian or literary reputation, such as Soho or Bloomsbury. Other areas have acquired different, but equally strong reputations. For instance, Hampstead is associated with intellectuals.
For centuries immigrants have arrived in London both from elsewhere in the British Isles and abroad. Around one-fifth of London's population belong to ethnic minority groups, rising to 45 per cent (mainly Indian) in the London Borough of Brent. The arrival of immigrant communities from overseas has contributed to the distinctive characteristics of particular districts of London. Parts of Soho and Spitalfields, for instance, still show signs of the Huguenot refugees from France who arrived in the late seventeenth century. Soho is now more famous as the site of London's Chinatown.
The East End, as the docklands of London, has long been the traditional focus of immigration into the capital. It has played host to successive waves of immigrants: Irish, Jewish, and, most recently, Bangladeshi. All have contributed to the character and diversity of the area, and have brought different cuisine and different religious traditions.
Kilburn is well-known for its Irish pubs, whilst Ilford, Finchley and Golders Green continue to have strong Jewish associations. And there are concentrations of, for instance, Turkish Cypriots in Hackney, Punjabis in Southall and Australians in Earl's Court. Approximately 193 different languages are spoken in London. And there are at least 33 nationalities that have resident populations of over 10,000 in London. The largest community is the Irish. There are about half a million Afro-Caribbeans and similar numbers originating from the Indian sub-continent.
As a result there is an immense range of cultural life in London, reflected on the high streets in the clothes people wear, the cafes and restaurants, and the variety of goods, especially foodstuffs, in the shops. Even in suburban supermarkets spices for curries and foods like yams, sweet potatoes and eddoes are readily available.

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