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The Changing Culture of Bristol

The changing culture of Bristol in 2014: 91 languages spoken, 50 countries of birth and 45 religions practised

LIKE many British cities, Bristol is diverse, with cultures represented from all over the world. But a council report has thrown up some fascinating statistics showing just how multicultural our city really is.

Few of us would realise, for example, that at least 91 languages are spoken, at least 50 countries of birth represented and at least 45 religions are practised.

Nearly one in four people in Bristol (22 per cent) are non-white British and nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of people in Bristol who were not born in the UK arrived during the last ten years.

In Lawrence Hill, the largest ward in the city, more than half of the population is black or from other minority ethnic backgrounds. Bristol also has the fourth highest Somali-born population in the UK.

Thangam Debbonaire, a governor at an inner city school, said teachers were doing a great job in helping children from ethnic minorities to learn English. She said it was adults who needed more help.

"I meet parents who are desperate to learn English – many of them know how to speak English but not write it," she said.

British-born Ms Debbonaire, whose father emigrated from India in the 1950s and whose mother is English, said: "Behind all the rhetoric, it's worth remembering that most people who come here from other countries do so to work and contribute their skills to our society. A lot of our public services would grind to a halt if it was not for many of the people working in them."

Excerpt of article by Ian Onions at The Bristol Post October 08, 2014

Read more at bristolpost.co.uk

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