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The Second Generation of Koreans in Brazil: A Portrait

By Korean Studies Group, University of Sao Paulo

It’s been 46 years since the first emigration group officially organized by the Korean government arrived at the Port of Santos with 89 Koreans. And the history of the second generation is as old as the history of Korean immigration to Brazil. According to Eung Seo Oh, who was directly involved in elaborating the first Korean Emigration Act and the departure of that initial group to Brazil, the first individual of the second generation is a girl born in November, 1963, daughter of Seung-Gap Yang, a member of that initial group (she would be 46 years old as of today).

There’s no numerical data over the second generation, but they are included in the statistics of the Overseas Korean Foundation, which accounts for 50,523 Koreans in Brazil in 2007. Not only the second and third generation, but also illegals, temporaries and naturalized citizens are included here. On the other hand, according to the Department of Federal Police in São Paulo, there are 24,095 Koreans officially registered as foreigners permanently living in Brazil — i.e., first generation. It’s difficult to precise how many of the remaining 26,428 are genuinely second generation, but we believe that the number of illegals, temporaries and naturalized citizens is not expressive. In other words, already half of the Korean community in Brazil is composed by the second generation.

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