Houston’s melting pot brings plenty of diversity

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By now you’ve no doubt heard the news, Houston is the most diverse city in the nation. With an immigrant population of 59%, roughly 1 in 4 Houstonians were born abroad. So before you go out globetrotting, you might want to consider exploring the wonders of the world via the Bayou City in this week’s Inside Story, from the pages of Houstonia.

Now, if you’re looking for some authentic Mexican art and culture in Houston, there’s no better place to visit than 6th Ward’s MECA.

MECA began in 1977, the community was predominantly Latino, so that kind of grounded us in that cultura, that culture, in that work. We do dance, music, theater, and visual art. Anyone who chooses to walk through the door, can come in. Welcome, all walks of life, all colors, all ages. MECA is completely open to anyone.

International shopping more up your alley, then Houston’s Harwin Area is where you want to be. Aku Patel’s Karat 22 has been servicing the Indian community here for over three decades. And if it wasn’t for the friendly sales staff, you would swear the boutique was a museum of South Asian jewelry.

"I came to Houston in 1982, but at that time Houston had almost 100,000 people who had come from South Asian countries, and there was not a single store that was catering for the needs of that community. But now in this area, we have over 100 stores. Even the Mayor has given us a name, Mahatma Gandhi District."  You don’t really have to go travel to India or Pakistan or whatever; you can find all the products right in the heart of your city.

And finally, our Vietnamese community has helped Houston’s food scene thrive. But if you’re hungry for inner peace, the Vietnamese Buddhist Center in Southwest Houston offers a place for city dwellers to clear their minds.

In 1990, that’s when they bought a lot here. It’s about more than 10 acres. And I noticed a lot of people, not only Vietnamese, but you know American, they stop by because they like the serene place. It’s just like a place for them to come and relax after work.

For a full list of destinations, they can take you to a faraway place, right here in Houston. Pick up this month’s Houstonia.

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