In Reply to: Cultural Mecca posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 04, 2010 at 18:01:
: : : I'm looking for the origins of the term "cultural Mecca" When was the term popularized, by whom, and how was it derived? It seems odd to me (in this day and age) that Mecca would be considered a center of culture, as opposed to religion. For the west, wouldn't a more appropriate term be "cultural Paris"?
: : It isn't odd at all when you consider the fact that 'Mecca' is modified by the word 'cultural'. If you simply wanted to describe a place noted for its culture, the word 'cultural' would be redundant.
: : Mecca is the centre of the Islamic world: the place that every Muslim wants to go - indeed, that every Muslim ought to visit at least once. So a 'cultural Mecca' is a place of culture (which might indeed be Paris) that everyone should go to.
: : And in any case, I would hesitate to belittle the claims of Mecca as place of culture. A rather Euro-centric point of view, perhaps?
: : DFG
: A place can be described as a "Mecca for aficionados of greyhound racing", a "horticultural Mecca", "a sporting Mecca", whatever you will. A "cultural Mecca" is just one option among many.(VSD)
It was because of this widespread use of Mecca that the Saudis changed their English spelling to Mekka some years ago.