Poet and guest editor Benjamin Zephaniah believes we have always been a multicultural island, with people constantly arriving, settling and mixing.
Last year's census showed that approximately one in eight people living in England and Wales was born outside the UK, but in the London borough of Newham, the the figure is higher still.
"I don't feel out of place; I get along with everybody," one Upton Park resident told the Today programme's Mark Easton, who paid a visit to Queen's Market to see what effect increasing multiculturalism is having on the area.
But that view is not shared by all.
"I actually feel like the foreigner now," says Lesley, a stallholder at the market. "It does worry me."
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