This “other” Seoul, is located on the other side of the world, but precisely in São Paulo, Brazil. This city has been heavily influenced by Korean culture, and just like Los Angeles – CA, there is a neighborhood that is intimately dedicated to Korea, a kind of Koreatown.
The Bom Retiro neighborhood in São Paulo is a very populated place and probably one of the official regions of Korean culture in Brazil. Originally the neighborhood is an industrial neighborhood with many clothing stores that belong to many immigrants coming from Korea to open their businesses here. The place is really a cauldron and many languages are spoken there like Portuguese, English, Chinese, Japanese and of course the Korean language, and the idea is to fortify the Korean identity. Churches, restaurants, bakeries and many other places offer a small piece of home to the immigrants, who made São Paulo their home.
“Welcome sign to the Bom Retiro neighborhood”
For those who live in São Paulo, whether immigrants, descendants or even those who want to get to know Seoul or tourists who want to go there, see below some tips of places, so you can see how it is possible to exist another “Seoul outside of Korea”!
There are several grocery stores that sell noodles, sojus, tea, cookies, candies and in addition to selling the so famous Kimchi, besides the grocery stores, there are restaurants selling all kinds of Korean food such as Jjajangmyeon and Bulgogi (Korean barbecue) .
“Bulgogi (Korean Barbecue)”
“A Korean Grocery Store”
Just as in Seoul there is a wide variety of cafes and bakeries, in the Bom Retiro district there are also many coffee shops. There are a large varieties of shops that sell traditional clothing, toys and stationery, it even has a noraebang (korean karaoke)!
“Fresh Cake Factory – a korean bakery”
In addition to all this, the neighborhood has a Hallyu Cultural Center dedicated to K-POP and the Korean Cultural Center in Brazil that is responsible for exchanging cultures. The city also often features shows from various K-POP bands such as BTS, Stellar, KARD, Blanc7, UNIQ among others, as well as attracting many cover groups from these bands to events focused on Korean pop music.
“Hallyu Cultural Center”
“UNIQ in Brazil”
“Traditional Korean dance at an event at the Korean Cultural Center”
And also recently was decreed by the mayor of São Paulo, on August 15, the Korean Cultural Day. Well it is not for less that São Paulo receives the affectionate nickname of “Little Seoul” or the Seoul outside Korea.
So, did you guys enjoy this cultural trip? So tell me if you know any other sister cities in Seoul?