A Sunday afternoon in London

One Sunday afternoon in Spring, I walk into a North London hotel lobby where I have agreed to meet a friend.

Upon entry we are met with an extremely noisy and boisterous atmosphere. Children are running around playing hide and seek, party balloons are in the air, decorations cover the walls and loud music blares from all corners.

Curiosity leads us to enquire at reception, where we discover that:

  • The wedding upstairs is between two Indian families. The women are decked in Saaris and men in smart Western suits. They’ve just started tucking in to their buffet food. The bride and groom are arriving in the next half an hour…
  • The party ahead of us is a Christian Afro-Caribbean family christening a new born child and they’ve invited all their friends and relatives. The colourfully-dressed kids are particularly enjoying popping the balloons and dancing to the loud pop music…
  • In the corner of the hotel bar, an Irish musical group of friends are huddled around a set of tables and chairs. They’re enjoying a drink and proudly practising some traditional Irish folk tunes with their guitars, fiddles, frame drums…

And my friend and I are of Arab background, though we both grew up in London too…

Perhaps only in London… in the Spring… one Sunday afternoon.

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