Migration (“The Mara Crossing”, By: Ruth Padel)


When exploring the City of London I came to realize that the City of London is a very diverse and international city. The city is founded on migration. “The Mara Crossing”, By: Ruth Padel tells about how migration was an important aspect in London’s history and how it had an affect on people from all different kinds of backgrounds.
On page seven in the novel, Padel says, “London is an immigrant city. When the Romans got here in AD 43, they built a settlement on a crossing on the Thames. A hundred thousand indigenous people, the Iceni, burned it down, but the Romans crushed the Iceni and enlarged their trading post into a city. London’s walls were built by foreign soldiers, mostly mercenaries from Africa and Spain.”
The author explains how migration was one of the biggest influences on the development of the City of London. Migration is a journey that people take.
According to page three it states, “Migration is about two elements: the journey towards a new life and the settling into it.” I believe that the author is trying to explain how migration “writes London” by explaining that it is the cities foundation and historic background. She also goes onto explain on page seven, “the Normans invaded: French craftsmen and architects built the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, the city’s oldest landmarks.”

Still today London is a very diverse city. An online article states, “Humanity’s first ‘world city’ was a seething and constantly growing metropolis of the young. Migrants and immigrants filled its neighborhoods and gave to each one a distinctive character, which in turn changed decade by decade as new waves of both the desperate and the hopeful from Britain and across the world came to occupy the bright streets and dingy courts of the capital”
Ruth Padel pointed out in the novel that no one chooses where they are from. We are born and grow up on the land that our guardians put us on. On page two it says, “Christianity said we are strangers in this world, searching for the spiritual homeland to which we originally belonged. We weren’t meant to be here- we were put in a garden”. Even though this belief didn’t prove to be true, it still is an interesting point and I agree that many people are born into a certain land through their backgrounds or ancestor backgrounds. Even Ruth Padel herself had “both migration and rootedness in my background” according to page five. Her mother’s side was from the professional English type of background while her father’s side was from the German decent.
According to another online article, “London is very diverse compared with other UK cities as most ethnic groups have a greater representation in the capital than in other parts of the country. “ Here is a video explaining more about the history of London and the invasion of the Normans.

This book gives an understanding on the history in London and the migration. It also talks about the migration of animals as well. It explains that migration is a way of life and sometimes you have to travel to find your home or where you feel you belong.

According to page 29, “Animals travel in many different ways through different environments all the time and there seems to be no definition accepted by every zoologist that covers all their migrations”

Link to website: http://www.londonhigher.ac.uk/population.html


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