The City Council of Curitiba, Brazil, formally established sister town connections with Akureyri in North Iceland yesterday. Tens of people of Icelandic descent attended the ceremony, marking the 150th anniversary of the beginning of emigration of Icelanders to South Brazil.
In 1863-1873, 39 Icelanders moved from North Iceland to Curitaba, the capital of Paraná state in South Brazil, and the vicinity. Of the approximately three million people who live in the city, thousands are of Icelandic descent, ruv.is reports.
Chair of the Curitiba City Council Paulo Salamuni said in his speech that Curitiba wouldn’t have been the city it is today without the multi-cultural atmosphere the Icelandic immigrants had their part in creating.
Many of the Icelandic-Brazilians have nurtured their Icelandic roots, running an Icelandic association in the city, and to them, establishing sister town connections with Akureyri, from where their ancestors set off 150 years ago, was a dream come true.