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Immigrant Mothers Cling to Their Customs while Acclimating to Brazilian Culture

Women rely on immigrant communities in order to maintain their culture in Brazil

São Paulo


Guinean Samira Nancassa and her son belong to a group that is steadily increasing in Brazil— immigrant mothers. Data show that these immigrant mothers come from places as far as China and South Korea as well as from neighboring countries like Argentina and Bolivia. Moreover, the women depend on the local communities of their countrymen to maintain their culture.

Samira Ariana Nancassa Arlete (29) from Guiné Bissau with her son Wallid Gustavo Arlete Camara (2). (Foto: Bruno Santos/ Folhapress) - Folhapress

Chinese Yuhuang Li, for example, put her kids in a school where half of the classes are taught in Mandarin. Her husband, who is Taiwanese, grew up in Brazil. “He has friends who are from China, who also grew up here. It’s a community. (Brazil) is already their country,” she said.

When it comes to food, the mothers are surprised that Brazilians eat beans every day. “Do do not eat as many beans, just this difference,” said Eliezka, 29, from Venezuela when describing the culinary differences between the two countries.

Nathalie, originally from the Congo, said that beans, also eaten in the Congo, are consumed daily in her house because of her husband. “He has to eat beans every day since moving here. If I don’t make it, then he will complain,” she said.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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