Polish Brazilian
Overview
 
A Polish Brazilian is a Brazilian person of full or partial Polish ancestry, who is aware of such ancestry and remains connected, in some degree, to Polish culture, or a Polish-born person permanently residing in Brazil. The number of Polish descendants in Brazil is estimated at 1.8 million. Also, a Polish Brazilian can be a child of a Brazilian mother and Polish father (and vice versa).

Polish immigrants began arriving in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in the late 19th century, but their numbers really increased in the 1920s.
Encyclopedia
A Polish Brazilian is a Brazilian person of full or partial Polish ancestry, who is aware of such ancestry and remains connected, in some degree, to Polish culture, or a Polish-born person permanently residing in Brazil. The number of Polish descendants in Brazil is estimated at 1.8 million. Also, a Polish Brazilian can be a child of a Brazilian mother and Polish father (and vice versa).

Polish immigrants began arriving in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 in the late 19th century, but their numbers really increased in the 1920s. The Brazilian State of Paraná
Paraná (state)
Paraná is one of the states of Brazil, located in the South of the country, bordered on the north by São Paulo state, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Santa Catarina state and the Misiones Province of Argentina, and on the west by Mato Grosso do Sul and the republic of Paraguay,...

 is a dominantly Polish area in Brazil. The Polish immigrants brought native folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 and dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

 to Brazil such as mazurka and polonaise. In addition to the musical elements of the Polish culture, immigrants also brought customs, manners, and styles of clothing. Polish culture has also had an impact on aspects of the cuisine
Cuisine
Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from...

 and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 of Brazil.

Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 live in Guarapuava, Curitiba
Curitiba
Curitiba is the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is the largest city with the biggest economy of both Paraná and southern Brazil. The population of Curitiba numbers approximately 1.75 million people and the latest GDP figures for the city surpass US$61 billion according to...

, Campo Largo, Contenda, Araucária
Araucária
Araucária is a city in Paraná, Brazil. It is located at around ....

, Lapa Săo Mateus do Sul, and Irati. With the immigrants there was an increase in employment on planted lands with the use of new tools, like the plow, the grille, and the sickle. There was the introduction of new types of jobs and professions, like blacksmith
Blacksmith
A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal; that is, by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut...

, carpenter
Carpenter
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

, joiner
Joiner
A joiner differs from a carpenter in that joiners cut and fit joints in wood that do not use nails. Joiners usually work in a workshop since the formation of various joints generally requires non-portable machinery. A carpenter normally works on site...

 and tailor
Tailor
A tailor is a person who makes, repairs, or alters clothing professionally, especially suits and men's clothing.Although the term dates to the thirteenth century, tailor took on its modern sense in the late eighteenth century, and now refers to makers of men's and women's suits, coats, trousers,...

. The immigrants work helped a lot on the economic growth in Paraná and renovated Paraná's social structure.

Immigration

The first Polish immigrants arrived in the port of Itajaí
Itajaí
Itajaí is a Brazilian city in the state of Santa Catarina.-History:The city was founded on June 15, 1860, but the colonization of Itajaí started in 1658, when the Paulista João Dias D’Arzão arrived in the region. In 1750, Portuguese colonists coming from Madeira and the Azores made this region...

, Santa Catarina
Santa Catarina (state)
Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil with one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Its capital is Florianópolis, which mostly lies on the Santa Catarina Island. Neighbouring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. It is bounded on the east by...

, in August 1869. They were 78 Poles from the area of Southern Silesia. Commandant Redlisch, of the ship Victoria, brought people from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 to settle in Brusque.

They were in total 16 families, among them: Francisco Pollak, Nicolau Wós, Boaventura Pollak, Thomasz Szymanski, Simon Purkot, Felipe Purkot, Miguel Prudlo, Chaim Briffel, Simon Otto, Domin Stempke, Gaspar Gbur, Balcer Gbur, Walentin Weber, Antoni Kania, Franciszek Kania, André Pampuch and Stefan Kachel. The Poles were placed in the colonies Príncipe Dom Pedro and Itajaí, in the area of Brusque.

Polish immigration to Brazil was not as large as the immigration of Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 or Italians
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

, however a significant number of Poles have settled in Brazil. From 1872 to 1959, 110,243 "Russian" citizens entered Brazil. In fact, the vast majority of them were Poles, since Poland was under Russian rule and ethnic Poles immigrated with Russian passport
Passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

s.

The State of Paraná
Paraná (state)
Paraná is one of the states of Brazil, located in the South of the country, bordered on the north by São Paulo state, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Santa Catarina state and the Misiones Province of Argentina, and on the west by Mato Grosso do Sul and the republic of Paraguay,...

 received the majority of Polish immigrants, who settled mainly in the region of Curitiba
Curitiba
Curitiba is the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is the largest city with the biggest economy of both Paraná and southern Brazil. The population of Curitiba numbers approximately 1.75 million people and the latest GDP figures for the city surpass US$61 billion according to...

, in the towns of Mallet, Cruz Machado, São Matheus do Sul, Irati, and União da Vitória.

Most Polish immigrants to Southern Brazil were Catholics who arrived between 1870–1920 and worked as small farmers in the State of Paraná
Paraná (state)
Paraná is one of the states of Brazil, located in the South of the country, bordered on the north by São Paulo state, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Santa Catarina state and the Misiones Province of Argentina, and on the west by Mato Grosso do Sul and the republic of Paraguay,...

. Others went to the neighboring states of Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul
Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...

 and Santa Catarina
Santa Catarina (state)
Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil with one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Its capital is Florianópolis, which mostly lies on the Santa Catarina Island. Neighbouring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. It is bounded on the east by...

 and São Paulo, which is a state as well as a city. After the 1920s, many Polish Jews immigrated seeking refuge from Europe, settling mainly in the State of São Paulo. Today most Brazilian Jews are of Polish descent.

Religion

In a 1991 poll with Polish immigrants residents in Southeastern Brazil, 48.5% reported to be Jewish, 36.4% Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, 10.7% adherents of other religions and 4.5% non-religious.

Polish culture in Brazil

The State of Paraná
Paraná (state)
Paraná is one of the states of Brazil, located in the South of the country, bordered on the north by São Paulo state, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Santa Catarina state and the Misiones Province of Argentina, and on the west by Mato Grosso do Sul and the republic of Paraguay,...

 still remains a strong influence from the Polish culture. Many small towns have a majority of Polish-descendants and the Polish language
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 is spoken by some of them, although nowadays most Polish Brazilians only speak Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

. The city of Curitiba
Curitiba
Curitiba is the capital of the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is the largest city with the biggest economy of both Paraná and southern Brazil. The population of Curitiba numbers approximately 1.75 million people and the latest GDP figures for the city surpass US$61 billion according to...

 has the second largest Polish diaspora
Polonia
The Polish diaspora refers to people of Polish origin who live outside Poland. The Polish diaspora is also known in modern Polish language as Polonia, which is the name for Poland in Latin and in many other Romance languages....

 in the world (after Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

) and Polish music, dishes
Polish cuisine
Polish cuisine is a style of cooking and food preparation originating from Poland. It has evolved over the centuries due to historical circumstances. Polish national cuisine shares some similarities with other Central European and Eastern European traditions as well as French and Italian...

 and culture are quite common in the region.

Polish communities

After the proclamation of the Republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

, the Brazilian government practically opened the doors of the country
Country
A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

 to the immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

. In the first years of the Republic, the most immigration to Brazil
Immigration to Brazil
Immigration to Brazil is the movement to Brazil of foreign persons to reside permanently. It should not be confused with the colonisation of the country by the Portuguese, or with the forcible bringing of people from Africa as slaves....

 occurred. The Polish appeared in the statistics in significant numbers. This period was known in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 as "Brazilian fever". Important Polish communities appeared in several Brazilian states:
  • Paraná
    Paraná (state)
    Paraná is one of the states of Brazil, located in the South of the country, bordered on the north by São Paulo state, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south by Santa Catarina state and the Misiones Province of Argentina, and on the west by Mato Grosso do Sul and the republic of Paraguay,...

    : Eufrosina, Rio Claro, São Mateus, Santa Bárbara, Prudentópolis, Ivaí, Apucarana (now Cândido de Abreu), Castro, Piraí do Sul, Palmeira, Cruz Machado, Guarapuava, Irati, Curitiba and others.

  • Santa Catarina
    Santa Catarina (state)
    Santa Catarina is a state in southern Brazil with one of the highest standards of living in Latin America. Its capital is Florianópolis, which mostly lies on the Santa Catarina Island. Neighbouring states are Rio Grande do Sul to the south and Paraná to the north. It is bounded on the east by...

    : Lucena (current Itaiópolis), Rio Vermelho, Massaranduba, Grã-Pará, Nova Galícia, and others.

  • Rio Grande do Sul
    Rio Grande do Sul
    Rio Grande do Sul is the southernmost state in Brazil, and the state with the fifth highest Human Development Index in the country. In this state is located the southernmost city in the country, Chuí, on the border with Uruguay. In the region of Bento Gonçalves and Caxias do Sul, the largest wine...

    : Alfredo Chaves (now Veranópolis), Antônio Prado, Bento Gonçalves, Dom Feliciano, Mariana Pimentel, Ijuí, Guarani das Missões, Áurea, Gaurama, Jaguari, Erechim, and others.

  • São Paulo
    São Paulo (state)
    São Paulo is a state in Brazil. It is the major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy. Named after Saint Paul, São Paulo has the largest population, industrial complex, and economic production in the country. It is the richest state in Brazil...

    : São Bernardo, Pariquera-açu, City of São Paulo, and others.

  • Espírito Santo
    Espírito Santo
    Espírito Santo is one of the states of southeastern Brazil, often referred to by the abbreviation "ES". Its capital is Vitória and the largest city is Vila Velha. The name of the state means literally "holy spirit" after the Holy Ghost of Christianity...

    : Águia Branca, Santa Leopoldina, and others.

Notable Polish Brazilians

  • Alessandra Ambrosio
    Alessandra Ambrosio
    Alessandra Corine Ambrósio is a Brazilian model. Ambrosio is best known for her work with Victoria's Secret and was chosen as the first spokesmodel for the company's "PINK" line...

    , supermodel
  • Alexandre Herchcovitch
    Alexandre Herchcovitch
    Alexandre Herchcovitch is a Brazilian fashion designer. He's of Jewish descent, his grandparents emigrated from Poland and Romania.-Overview:...

    , fashion designer
  • Angélica Ksyvickis, Rede Globo hostess, actress and singer
  • Edson Zwaricz
    Edson Zwaricz
    Edson Luis Zwaricz is a Mexican footballer of Polish-Brazilian descent, who currently plays for Mérida F.C.. He moved to Mexico in 1993.-External links:...

    , footballer
  • Henrique de Curitiba
    Henrique de Curitiba
    Zbigniew Henrique Morozowicz, known as Henrique de Curitiba , is a Brazilian composer of Polish descent...

    , composer
  • Jaime Lerner
    Jaime Lerner
    Jaime Lerner was governor of the state of Paraná, in southern Brazil. He is renowned as an architect and urban planner, having been mayor of Curitiba, capital of Paraná, three times...

    , politician
  • Maurício Waldman
    Mauricio Waldman
    Maurício Waldman is a professor, social activist and pioneer of Brazilian environmentalist movement.-Biography:Waldman was born to a Jewish family originally from Poland and Italy in São Paulo city on December 2, 1955...

    , environmentalist
  • Paulo Leminski
    Paulo Leminski
    Paulo Leminski Filho was a Brazilian poet and writer. He took pride in being of mixed Polish and African descent....

    , poet and writer
  • Paulo Szot
    Paulo Szot
    Paulo Szot is a Brazilian opera baritone singer and actor. In 2008, he made his Broadway debut as Emile De Becque in a revival of South Pacific. He won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for his performance in the musical, becoming the first Brazilian to receive...

    , Tony Award-winning opera singer and actor
  • Xuxa
    Xuxa
    Xuxa , Maria da Graça "Xuxa" Meneghel, born March 27, 1963 in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) is a Brazilian television actress, singer and children's television show host...

    , Rede Globo hostess and Latin Grammy Award-winning singer
  • Sergio Groisman, Rede Globo´s "Altas Horas" show host
  • Francisco Lachowski
    Francisco Lachowski
    Francisco Lachowski is a Brazilian-Polish model. He started his career in 2009 when he won a modeling contest in São Paulo, for which he was awarded a contract with Ford Models. In 2009 he did his first runway shows in Milan and Paris, walking for designers like Gucci and Dior Homme...

    , model
  • Assis Gurgacz, Senator
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