Students at Manchester Academy of English embrace their multicultural city, and describe what they have learnt about each other since moving to one of the UK's most cosmopolitan places.
This city regroups a lot of different people from all around the world. One of the best examples is when we have a look at the number of language schools here, about twenty which gather students from different countries.
While I’ve been here, I’ve had the lucky pleasure to meet people with other cultures to mine. Living in a student residence I’ve spent lot of time speaking with people and I’ve learnt a lot about their habits, about their countries and their lifestyles.
This experience in Manchester, between living in a residence and studying in Manchester Academy of English, where I’ve learnt to share moments with extraordinary people, has helped to improve my perception of other cultures. One example is the Ramadan, in my residence there are devout Muslim students and I wasn’t used to seeing people doing it, I had never realised how difficult it could be for them.
Manchester is a multicultural city, an important melting pot. There are many people with different cultures who have learnt to live together with respect despite their different lifestyles.
On the street, buskers are playing their traditional music, shops selling all kinds of foods, Chinese, Middle Eastern, European….People speak different languages. You can find all of this in Manchester, which is one of the most multicultural cities I have visited.
In front of my house, there is a small supermarket, which is run by a Kashmir person. I had never heard of Kashmir before I came here. He told me about Kashmir history and showed me pictures. And also he sells Asian and Middle Eastern goods. I was surprised how easy it is to find other countries’ stuff in Manchester!!
Sometimes, while I was having dinner with my host family and housemate, I found it amazing that they were from all different parts of world. My host mom is from Russia, housemates are from Turkey, France, the Middle East. What a multicultural place it is!!
In Manchester, you can experience the food, music and art from all around the world and enjoy all kinds of different cultures. I think the best thing about studying in Manchester is not just studying English but also learning different about cultures.
Manchester is, in the eyes of many of the students from all around the world, a multi-cultural city. Its inhabitants and visitors give Manchester a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
From my experience, Asian people came, brought their food, opened restaurants and created China Town. Middle Eastern people also brought their culture into Manchester. I’ve discovered this cosmopolitan world since the day I arrived. I thought I would arrive in a very British city but I didn’t.
In fact, Manchester possesses a diverse culture but still keeps a bit of its national character. For example, I went to a Chinese buffet as I usually do in my country.
The food was very different, much tastier. (I didn’t really like it)
My stay here has affected my perception of other cultures. It has made me discover a lot about the whole world in one city and meet people with a different perception.
Manchester’s cultural “melting pot” doesn’t only help visitors to immerse themselves in a British culture but in a cosmopolitan one – it is quite a cheap way to discover the world I guess!
Manchester is such a multi-cultured city and, as a result, there are so many kinds of religions as well. In my country, I can’t find someone who believes in Islam. I’ve never seen people who can’t eat specific kinds of food because of their religion (for example, pork or beef), and even the people who observe Ramadan. Also I found out that because they aren’t allowed to drink alcohol too, instead of drinking, they enjoy smoking shisha and it has become more and more popular (Shisha isn’t so popular in my country).
Moreover, I’ve never seen someone who wears a hijab! When I first saw them, it was really unfamiliar to me. Actually, I didn’t use to know much about unfamiliar religions and how they affect believers or how important they are to believers. However, now I’m getting used to Muslims and their culture and I’ve been able to understand the culture better than I did before coming here.
In conclusion, since I came here and started living in this melting pot-Manchester, I’ve met so many people from different cultures. I could broaden my knowledge about them and I’ve become able to understand multi-racial people. I’m really happy about that and getting to know new cultures has been a great experience. Thanks Manchester!
by Seo Yoon
Do you think Manchester is a multi-cultural city? For me, the answer is YES, and I supposed to others also think like this. Personally I was really surprised when I first arrived here because there were lots of people who came from different countries. Other European countries, Chinese, Saudi Arabian, etc. I can’t write all the nationality of people who I’ve met! At first I wasn’t used to the cosmopolitan environment because it’s totally different with my city in Korea. However, now I’m used to experiencing many sorts of cultures at the same time and this fact makes Manchester a more fascinating city than others.
I’ve experienced lots of colourful cultures since I’ve been here. I’ve lived here for less than five months but my perspective has been changed compare with it when I was in Korea. Experiences that I had made me multi-cultural person! For example, I could experience different kind of food in Korea, but I can see restaurants run by people who came from those countries. I think this circumstance can inspire people to make or create new cuisines. The other precious experience is that I met new friends who have various nationality. One of my friends is British but her parents come from Saudi Arabia. She was born in Britain but she is now observing Ramadan. Including her, many people who I have met in Manchester have at least two different cultures and keep them at the same time.
In Korea, except for the capital city, we don’t have much opportunity to experience other cultures because there aren’t many foreigners who live in my city. In addition, as a Korean I think Korean have an exclusive point of view to other cultures and are quite conservative. However nowadays, many young people accept positive things from other cultures. This is a very hopeful movement to inspire better aspect of culture.
Whole world has become a huge global village and I think Manchester is a melting pot! I believe that multi-culturalism leads people to have a capacity to accept differences and can make them understand others.
by Suyeon, Kim