No doubt you’ve heard of the Boys from Brazil. But how about the Poles from Brazil?
I’ve noticed for a while that a lot of the visitors to this website are from Brazil. I wondered why, and decided to look into it.
I discovered many Poles emigrated to Brazil between the latter half of the nineteenth century and the Second World War – mostly Catholics and Jews. Presumably many of them were escaping a subjugated homeland, partitioned as it was between Prussia, Russia and Austria until the end of World War One.
But they were also heading for a brave new world, or “pais do futuro” (country of the future), as Brazil was known at the time.
Poles settled particularly in the south of Brazil. What astonishes me are the numbers: there are said to be around 2 million Brazilians of Polish origin. One city – Curitiba – is reputed to have more Poles than any city outside Poland except Chicago.
But, I think differently to the US, many Brazilians of Polish origin have more fully assimilated. For example, I understand not so many speak the Polish language. But I also understand there is much evidence of Polish influence in this region of Brazil – including its architecture, cuisine and religion.
So, a big hello to all the Brazilian visitors to my website – of Polish origin, or not!