In one lunchroom I frequent I notice that I enjoy the company of the non-whites more because they seem worldly and what is important to them seems to accord with what’s important to me. They’re are living beyond the bubble of rampant materialism and consumerism and are more interested having conversation in people who they don’t work alongside than the whites would be. My impression is that they are less cliquey than the whites.
Also there is not usually more than one representative of each of the non-white ethnic groups e.g. Japanese, Taiwanese, Cantonese, North Chinese, Zimbabwean, Lebanese, Filopina, Indian etc. so they aren’t hanging out with others of their ethnicity so much. People are in groups more according to their occupation.
There’s a lot of sharing of food so the ethnic folks are always going to be appreciated!
In the other lunchroom, most Asians generally mix totally but the Filopino/Filipinas who are a larger group, like to sit with each other exclusively. I imagine the freedom and pleasure of talking your mother tongue is like sinking into a lovely warm bath so fair enough for them. Their conversation sounds warm and gentle. The rest of the room leave them to it.
On reflection I think it depends on how large your ethnic group is as to how much you’re inclined to mix with the other ethnicities in our lunchrooms. If you’re one of a kind, you’ll mix in and if there’s a bunch of you, you may not.