Londonist gets invitations to all sorts of things, in all sorts of places. Last night's outing was to hear a series of oral histories from those who experienced the 1956 Revolution in Hungary at the Hungarian Cultural Centre, Covent Garden. It got us thinking... what other cultural centres can be found in London?
For such a big place filled with so many international people, languages, cuisine and arts, there must be loads of places where those from a certain cultural background can go to meet others with similar backgrounds, mingle and attend events that are relevant to them and their culture. For others interested in those particular cultural groups too, these centres are excellent resources for learning more about another lifestyle, another language, another world altogether.
Far from being an exhaustive list, Londonist has looked up a few of the cultural centres out there that you may not have ever been aware of...
Hungarian Cultural Centre - Covent Garden
Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque - Regent's Park
London Jewish Cultural Centre - Golders Green
Kurdish Cultural Centre - Kennington
Romanian Cultural Centre - Regent Street
London Chinese Cultural Centre - Southwark
Institut Francais - South Kensington
London Irish Centre - Camden Town
Indo-Pakistan Cultural Centre - Finsbury Park
Milaap Centre: Kingston Multicultural Association (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil) - Kingston
Afghan Association of London - Harrow
POSK: Polish Social and Cultural Association - Hammersmith
Goethe Institute (German) - South Kensington
The Institute of Ismaili Studies - Victoria
Czech Centre London - Harley Street
Surprised? You shouldn't be. Look around you next time you're on the street, on a bus, on the Tube or in the shops. Turn off your iPod and listen to the voices speaking around you, in all the hundreds of languages that make up the London soundscape. Look up a few restaurants in your area too, and the list of cultural centres in London should seem less of a shock - and the fact this list barely scrapes the surface starts to make sense.
For more information on any of the above cultural centres, please follow the links above.