Crossing borders with Koreatowns
MOVE OVER CHINATOWN – KOREATOWN IS THE NEW HEART AND S(E)OUL OF YOUR CITY.
Brazil has several Korean enclaves but a Koreatown was formed in Bom Retiro, a densely populated area of Brazil’s biggest city, São Paulo. The largest Koreatown in South America, it is the place to go for a Korean church, mini marts, and the quintessential Korean restaurants and barbecue spots. São Paulo has also designated 15 August as Korean Culture Day.
Toronto officially dubbed the area on Bloor Street, from Bathurst Street to Christie Street, as Koreatown in 2004. Since then, the Korean community in Toronto has filled the area with Korean grocery stores, hairdressers and karaoke bars. The enclave also offers a wide range of Korean restaurants, high-endfashion boutiques, herbalists, acupuncturists and many other unique services and shops that are stocked with made-in-korea merchandise. Just like in Korea, Koreatown Toronto hosts a Spring Dano Festival on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Korean Lunar Calendar.
The biggest Koreatown in the world, the Greater Los Angeles Area is also home to the largest number of ethnic Koreans, with a population of over 300,000. During the 1994 Asian Market Crisis, the City of Angels saw South Korean investors sought to invest in the then-profitable California real-estate market. It now includes two three-storey indoor shopping malls, a massive market with over 70 stores, a warehouse that is home to everything Korean, plus the usual barbecue restaurants.
At 31,000 sq m, the Koreatown block at north Jakarta Pulomas is the first artificially made Little Korea in the world, with seven blocks and nine buildings. The Korean population in Indonesia stands at approximately 40,000, which makes Indonesia the 12th largest country with Koreans living outside Korea.