LONDON (BP) -- For more than 200 years, London has been a repository for some of the globe's most remarkable cultural treasures.
In an hour's stroll through the British Museum, a visitor can view Greek statues from the Parthenon; colossal stone-winged lions from an Assyrian palace; the Rosetta Stone, the world's key to unlocking the language of the pharaohs; and a plethora of other incomparable, priceless treasures.
Yet other treasure has found a home in London outside the secure walls of a world-class museum.
That treasure is on the streets, in the neighborhoods, riding the buses and underground trains, heading to an Olympics venue, working in the restaurants or attending the schools.
It's the people.
There's Asuntha*, for instance. Her Sri Lankan husband brought her to London just after they were married. As is common in this sort of arranged marriage, she didn't know him well, and family difficulties followed. A few years and two daughters later, her husband left her, a bank repossessed her home, and she had to move into government housing.
But Asuntha stayed in London, living in a small flat above a gym, to build a better life for her girls. Her girls attend British schools and speak flawless English. She knows that by staying in London, her girls will have a more promising start to life than they ever would have had back in their home country.
Asuntha is one of an estimated 100,000 Sri Lankan-born U.K. residents, the majority of whom live in London. They bring with them not just their culture but also their religions, which include Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.
In a 2007 article, New York Magazine likened modern-day London to the New York City of the early 1900s, its great age of immigration. For decades, different ethnic groups have found reasons to immigrate to London.
Turkish Cypriots began to settle in the city's Camden area in the 1950s. Now in the Haringey area there's a concentration of about 30,000 to 40,000 Turkish speaking people -- and more than 200,000 in all of London. Read More