One reaction I got to yesterday’s post on the Cypriot Community Centre in Haringey was the email below:

“In your piece on Haringay (sic – it is either the Borough of Haringey or the area within the Borough known as Harringay) you talk about the communities and seem to focus on
only the Turkish and Greek communities . There is of course another community ,
the English one . ie  the people whe lived in Haringay before the influx of
immigrants (I was brought up in Haringay ) . They have had to cope and adapt to
radical changes in the nature and culture of the area in which they live and not
all those changes have been for the better (drug dealing for example ) . In your
enthusiasm for ‘bridging the cultural gap’ you seem to have no thought for these
people .”

Apart from the gross stereo-typing (eg the references to drug dealing), what my correspondent fails to recognise is that Haringey – particularly in those neighbourhoods around Green Lanes – has always been an area in which communities new to London and England have settled.  What has frequently happened is that such new communities over time have drifted northwards towards Barnet and Enfield and have in turn been replaced by communities even newer to London and England.  That is why the Borough’s population is such a diverse mix and therein lies its attraction for many residents.  Of course, there have been radical changes to the nature and the culture of the area over time, but that is the nature of London itself.

The diversity and mix of cultures is one of London’s many strengths.  The fact is that the different cultures within the Capital by and large coexist readily together and by doing so strengthen and complement each other.

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