Phoenix is a relatively new, quickly growing and laid-back city populated by people from a variety of backgrounds.  Many Native Americans live in the city and in the surrounding reservations.  A significant portion of the population is Hispanic, and most hotels, restaurants, banks and shops are happy to accommodate Spanish speakers.  Many college students live here, attending class at Arizona State University’s downtown campus and its campus in the neighboring city of Tempe.  The majority of the population has moved here from elsewhere, so most people do not have strong historical or traditional ties to the area.   Those that do, however, keep the traditions of the Southwestern U.S. alive and well, as exhibited by the numerous horse ranches surrounding the mountains and the various restaurants specializing in local dishes featuring hot and spicy flavors.  Casual dress and a relaxed atmosphere are the norm for nearly every restaurant, performance or event, so you can leave your coats, ties and formal dresses at home.

Within the past few years, a great contingent of nationalities have emerged onto the scene. Phoenix is formally represented by the Chinese community. In addition, Russian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Irish, Korean and German cultures are represented in various ways. The trend will undoubtedly continue over the next few years with the ongoing population increase in the Valley.