Over the past few weeks my son and his wife have moved away from Leicester. Now most of my working life has been spent dealing with strange shortcomings of the citizens of Leicester and so I, like I suspect most of my ex colleagues, have a somewhat jaundice view of Leicester. However, my son and daughter in law don’t share that view, to them Leicester is a vibrant multicultural place to live and somewhere to be missed, especially given that most of Britain isn’t. To those outside Leicester it really is a strange place full of people from around the world just trying to get on with their lives. I am sure that many of the foreign journalists who flocked to the city in the spring to cover the success of Leicester City were taken aback by just how multicultural the city really is.
Today, the wonderful mix of Leicester was enhanced for me by two things: Firstly as I walked through the De Montfort University (DMU) city centre campus all around was the latest intake of Chinese students who had just arrived and were starting to explore their new home for the next 3 years. In most other cities such a large influx would have caused heads to turn, in Leicester no one really notices; Secondly, on the side of the Newarke Museum, part of the campus, a new mural had been painted celebrating the success last season of Leicester City. It was clearly paid for by the Thai owners of the club and so reflects Thailand. Yet take the club out of the mural and symbols stand just as well for the City of Leicester, despite what the comments on the Leicester Mercury say (Internet comments negative – who would have thought that would happen?)
I will miss having my son and daughter in law close at hand, they haven’t moved that far away, but with their help I have realised what a wonderful place Leicester is. Yes it has all of the same problems any other city has but it has one thing going for it over most other cities. The people come from all over world and on the whole just get along. Long may that remain.