Author: Pooja Parashar
It was 09:00 am on ED watch of the airport and I was still in Istanbul. A bald but handsome Brazilian dressed up like a super cool monk sitting next to me and reading ‘GANDHI’. We were waiting for the connecting flight to Sao Paulo. I wasn’t excited for this trip and this is the reason that stopped me for so long to write about it on Parashar’stales. This was the first time I was going to leave my Mother India, still I was not happy. I am going abroad for the first time at the age of 24. Shame on you! Hello! Hold on! Don’t you dare to say this? For your kind information, I am not having a citizenship of any of those countries which pay for your unemployment-hood (Is there a word like this, who cares!!). So, as Queen Elizabeth is not paying my fares to foreign countries, there is only one chance when a middle-class girl like me can fly to a far place like Brazil. Yes and the chance – when your company has a little-bit confidence in you, and sends you to a foreign country to represent them. So I reached Sao Paulo and It welcomed me with beautiful rains.
after an hour’s wait and roaming in the airport finally I found my colleagues and we checked-in the hotel. Don’t ask me about the location of the hotel. It was famous or notorious (I don’t know);but any client whom I told that I was living in Downtown Sao Paulo would see me with a raised eyebrow as if I was doing a samba on the streets of downtown every day. It was a 20 days trip but I feel like I was living there since long.
The people, the streets, the openness in culture, the way they use to hug each other (abracos) whenever taking a leave from each other. Everything is very welcoming in Sao Paulo. People know how to smile, to laugh aloud and to make everybody smile around them. Brazil is one of the most ethnically diverse countries. I don’t have any fair idea about other states of Brazil but in Sao Paulo, you can find Japanese in one corner, an Italian in another, German, Spanish, Jews, Ukrainian, and Arabs apart from only Portuguese. Every person I met in Sao Paulo was a hybrid, My mother is Spanish But My dad is Italian; oh my father is a Japanese but my Mother is a Portuguese; they used to introduce their origin like this only.
What I loved about them that these interracial marriages happening almost since the birth of Brazil have given birth to a different type of ethnic group, we call Brazilian. Some Japanese, who have never visited Japan in their life, speak Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish and now English so fluently. They all are bonded together with the beauty of Brazil as they all are proud of being a part of such a beautiful part of nature. I have visited some places in Sao Paulo but would not like to mention about them here because there is so much to talk about inhabitants there.
The one most important part of their culture is meeting people; they have this tradition of going out for food with friends and peers almost every day. This makes Sao Paulo, food capital of Brazil. You can find any and every cuisine there. Though I went to a few restaurants there; (An indian appetite can be fulfilled with Indian food only; be it any part of the world) but the food is just finger-liciuos every time. The best thing I had is Pizza at BRAZ, One of the best Pizzeria in the world.
One more restaurant I remember; not because of its food but because of its location is Edificia Italian Restaurant, you can almost see every part of Sao Paulo from the 44th floor (as the restaurant is on 44th floor of the building). Other restaurants I ate at are Majestic, Badebec in shopping Market Place; which has amazing Mexican and Italian food.
To my surprise Brazilian relish Indian food a lot. I had my dinner in almost every Indian Restaurant in Sao Paulo from Delhi Palace, to Govinda to Ganesh to Tandoor everywhere and I found more Brazilians eating there. Brazil is a place where people embrace you with their culture and let your culture flourish with open arms.
I had heard a lot many things about Brazilian landscapes and nature (unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to visit Rio this time); but what took my attention amidst of the meetings, work there is the true Brazilian who may be confused about his origin or the ancestors but he knows how to laugh aloud and how to be always cheerful just like Brazil itself….Eu te amo Brasil ……..