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Mombasa is a cultural paradise with history dating back almost 1000 years. Being one of the main gateways of the East Coast of Africa, it has had poeple coming through it from all walks of life, each leaving some part of their heritage and culture behind. The Arab/Muslim influence is prevalent in the architecure, narrow streets, markets etc. while the indian culture is also very obvious with the beautiful mosques and astounding temples all over the island, some dating back 200 years when the first of the Indian communities migrated into east coast of Africa.
There is also a distinct European influence with the onset of colonialism although this is more prevalent further in towards Kenyan interior and along the beachfronts etc.
Mombasa today is a hotpot of cultures with people from all over the world calling Mombasa home.
You find all Kenyan tribes living on the coast, of course the Swahili people (a mixtre of the African orgins and the Arab sailors who where coming down with the monsun and traveld back to Jemen or to their homecountry after the monsun wind has changed its direction), still you find pure Arabs, Indian (Hindus (Gujarati's) as well as Muslims (Pakistani or India ancestory) or Christinan (Goan), Eurpian and many many more.
The Arabs came to Kenya to trade, down with the wind as by the order of the Monsun.
The Spanish came to find a colony.
The Indians were brought to Kenya to build the railway and later started their small businesses.