My exchange program is currently at the University of Massachusetts, Boston (previously known as Shawmut by native Americans), located on the east coast of the United States. Melbourne is named as one of Boston’s nine sister cities, promoting commercial and cultural ties.
Boston is most commonly known for being the center of higher education in the United States and amongst the leaders of the world in innovation. Its pupils are amidst the most distinguished, referencing graduates of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), campuses both feature along the Charles River – which also hosts the annual regatta, the largest two-day rowing event in the world. Each of the latter universities ranks within the top five in the Times Higher Education World Ranking. The total number of students living in the broader Boston region includes more than 250,000, which is symbolic of the overall culture of the elelectic New England.
Bostonians are known to have an accent called the Boston English, a dialect that is non-rhortic, meaning common phraseology seemingly dismisses “r-sounds.” Which dates back to the influential Irish-Bostonians, which now inhabit the greatest proportion of South Boston.
The roots of the American revolution, and the events which took place during the 1700’s, occurred in the puritan region of New England. During which American Colonies overthrew the British monarchy transforming governments and leading to progressive thinking. Boston’s rich formative history means several historic sites are scattered around the city, including the Freedom Trail and the Boston Athenaeum. Which is respectively a walking trail, which navigates common political and social structures, and one of the oldest and private independent libraries in the United States.
From my perspective, as a student living in Boston, the most influential element that creates the unique Boston culture, aside from it’s prodigious and prestigious tertiary institution, is the sports culture. The Red Socks (baseball), Celtics (basketball), Bruins (hockey) and the New England Revolution (soccer) are the elite and decorated professional teams. Their fans are legendary for their fanatic and enthusiastic sports banter, and spirited rivalry with participating New York teams. Celebrities such as Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are iconic fanatics, and commonly frequent games.
Interesting Boston Trivia:
– Harvard is the oldest established university in North America; graduates included 8 US presidents and 62 living billionaires. Also opening as a male only institution.
– Boston was founded in 1630 and named after a town in Lincolnshire.
– Whilst the Library of Congress in Washington DC has the largest collection (over 29,000,000), Harvard and University and Boston Public Library respectively have the 2nd and 3rd most.
– Boston Common formed back in 1634 and is the oldest park in the country.
– The oldest American subway system was built surrounding Tremont street, downtown Boston.
– On 18th of March 1990, the largest art theft in history took place at the Steward Gardner Museum by two men posing as police officers. The total collection amounts to more than 500 million between just 12 paintings.
– Mark Zuckerbrug created Facebook within the campus dorms of Harvard University, Fashmash was the formative predecessor.