7.00 AM

Mumbai has countless spots for breakfast – from roadside stalls selling vada pavs and hole-in-the wall dhabas, to 5 star restaurants serving organic food. The variety of breakfast spots reflects the diverse nature of Mumbai’s demography. Mumbai is a city of migrants, and as each community has arrived and made this city their home, they have brought their own unique traditions and customs, as well as cuisines. Sixteen major languages of India are also spoken in Mumbai, most common being Marathi, Hindi,Gujarati and English. A colloquial form of Hindi, known as Bambaiya – a blend of Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Konkani,Urdu, and Indian English – is spoken on the streets

If Mumbai did not have migrants streaming in, it wouldn’t ever have been a city. At best, it could have been perhaps another of those quaint coastal towns, conceivably also hamstrung in its geographical growth because of the marshes. Some of the big ethnic groups are Maharashtrians (making up 42% of the population,who have migrated from other parts of the state), Gujaratis (who run the cities many commerce districts and bazaars), Goan and Mangalorean Catholics, Biharis (who were the first migrant workers), and South Indians (who find it very easy to migrate to Mumbai due to the preponderance of English in the work place). Mumbai is also home to the largest population of Parsi Zoroastrians in the world, numbering about 80,000, who migrated following the Muslim conquest of Persia in the seventh century, and a small Jewish community that settled in Bombay during the 18th century.

However, since the late 1960s, the nativist philosophy of political parties like the Shiv Sena and the later breakaway splinter Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have been harping on the risk to the natives livelihoods from the migrants and there have been violent opposition to people from outside. In 2000s, it had reached a scary pitch, including the 2008 riots when migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh fled the city after a spate of violent attacks.

Meet Mumbai’s diverse populace over breakfast


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