Living in: São Paulo
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Living in: São Paulo

Cebu : Philippines | Oct 07, 2012 at 12:26 AM PDT
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Skooter reporting 10/07/12

Sao Paulo is the largest and wealthiest city in Brazil. The city is a sprawling multicultural metropolis of nearly 11 million inhabitants. It is the financial hub of the country, as well as a cultural source that draws residents from all over Brazil and internationals from around the world. Becoming a paulistano (a resident of São Paulo) means living in one of the world’s fastest growing economies, as well as experiencing some of the planet’s most epic traffic jams.

Do you want to know what the city known for? São Paulo, or Sampa for short as it is called locally, is a multi-ethnic city with a varied mix of immigrants. Over the past century Sao Paulo experienced waves of migration from countries such as Italy, Portugal, Japan, Germany, Korea and the Middle East, all of whom brought their cuisine and culture with them. The largest ethnic group in the city has an Italian background, nearly six million of them and more than half a million are Japanese. This multicultural heritage can be seen in the structure of various neighborhoods, such as Italian-influenced Bixiga and Japanese-influenced Liberdade. The recent flourishing economy also attracts Brazilians from throughout the country. Catherine Balston, a British journalist and editor who live in the city for nearly four years said, “There is the chance to meet people and learn about different aspects of Brazilian culture.”

Just like any highly urbanized cities, São Paulo has world class museums, such as the São Paulo Art Museum, and is home to South America’s most glamorous Fashion Week in January and June, where A-list Brazilian designers such as Alexandre Herchcovitch brag their couture creations. Since the nation is football mad, São Paulo has three of the country’s top teams: the Corinthians, Palmeiras and São Paulo. The opening kickoff of the 2014 World Cup will be hosted by the city -- provided the new Arena de São Paulo in Itaquerão is completed on time -- as well as one of the semi-final matches. The city will also be hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics Games.

The city’s urban slump means that even with large parks such as Ibirapuera Park, there is not a lot of green space. Catherine Balston said, “The proportions of the city are just mind blowing when you get the rare chance to see it from the top of a tall building. There will always be more to explore.” You will be amazed of the ever-increasing number of cars on the road because there is a growing middle class where 180km-long traffic jams are common, particularly on Friday nights when everyone is getting out of town for the weekend. You’ll be amazed more when many of the city’s high-flying executives take choppers instead to avoid the jumbled highways.

To be continued

BBC

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São Paulo's Vila Madalena neighbourhood is known for its pubs and cafes. (
skooter is based in Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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