Nordeste in the middle of Rio

People migrate for all kind of reasons, political, economical, religious, job opportunity, weather, family, history, curiosity, adventure, and a hundred more reasons. In Brazil people migrate from small towns to the big cities seeking job opportunities and a better quality of life. The Nordeste region is situated on the North part of Brazil, where opportunities for development and growth are very limited, which has made this group of people move to Sao Paulo and Rio. Here in Rio they have their own piece of heaven, a place to call home, here they bring together their culture, food, music and art. This is a great opportunity to learn about the other parts of Brazil that nobody talks about.

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Feira de Sao Cristovao is a piece of the Nordeste laying in the middle of the city of Rio. A place the size of a stadium, surrounded by tall brick walls and partially covered to accommodate restaurants, folkloric bands and street tents type of stores. Restaurants on the perimeter and a large dancing floor in the heart of it all.

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The loud music goes on for the whole day, couples dance in very sensuous moves, kids jump around and try to follow the steps. It accommodates people from the very young to the very old age. If you are alive you are welcome here, and even if you are only half way present, this will bring you back to life.

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This is not your regular Rio, this culture came from the North of Brazil, where life is a lot harder but nonetheless less fun or delicious. Dishes are made with fruits, roots and vegetables originally from the Amazon, influenced by the native Brazilians and by the way the colonization happened there.

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Meat, fish, sausages are cured by salt and/or sun. Fruits that you have never heard about come in the shape of preserves, ice-cream, fruit bars. Everything naturally produced and preserved in a kitchen far away in the arid areas of the Brazilian northeast.

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If I could I would…. bring all of this home with me. So much food, so little time!

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Handmade kitchen gadgets, wood toys, arts and crafts. Is craftmanship a regular trait of every individual? Here we see so much of everything and I wonder if everyone was born an artist or a cook?

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Painting, pottery, dolls, music… There is  no end to what you will find here.

If I had my own store here in Ohio, I’d buy all of these items to sell here. My shelves would be as colorful and full of life as the art I see around the world.

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