New study of multicultural Leicester provides food for thought

Master's students in the School of Modern Languages have conducted the first study in Leicester to investigate multiculturalism through where and what we eat - and have found that while dining experiences bring together people from different cultures, in many respects they remain separate from one another.

Now a new online exhibition, Cross Cultural Cuisine: Multicultural Restaurants on Leicester's London Road, aims to provide fresh insights into day-to-day life in Leicester through audio clips, photographs and text.

Chunghui Wang, 41, from Taiwan, Xiaofan He, 23, from China and Fayola Francis, 24, who is Jamaican British, carried out the research as part of their core module, Representing Intercultural Meaning: Exhibition Project, which allowed them to research and create their own exhibition.

Fayola said: “We study intercultural communication and a multicultural city like Leicester is the perfect place to put the academic side of our degree into practice. Our research has shown that although Leicester is undoubtedly a multicultural city, it is not yet intercultural. That is to say, Leicester has yet to move past multiculturalism to an intercultural model where different cultural groups share spaces, places, values and views. Whilst people are very tolerant of other cultures, they rarely mix with people from different cultural backgrounds."

Academic supervisor Dr Christian Morgner added: “This exhibition offers unique insight into one of Leicester's most multicultural and busiest streets. The research findings of this study provide a fresh and interesting perspective not only to academics, but also to the general public.”