|Founded||24 May 1905|
|• Metro||73.549 km2 (28.397 sq mi)|
|Elevation||570 m (1,870 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (UTC-3)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (UTC-2)|
|Postal Code (CEP)||13460-000|
Nova Odessa (lit., New Odessa) is a Brazilian municipality in the state of São Paulo. Nova Odessa was founded on May 24, 1905, by Carlos José de Arruda Botelho, Secretary of Agriculture of the state of São Paulo, and then settled by Russians and Latvians.
Its name is due to a visit Carlos Botelho made to the city of Odessa, Ukraine, from where he brought the style of its streets, and not because the first settlers where from there (as they were not).
In the early 20th century, the area of present-day Nova Odessa was classified as an uninhabited land suitable for farming. On May 24, 1905, the Brazilian government founded Nova Odessa as a "Núcleo Colonial" (the "Colonial Nuclei" were agricultural areas to where the Brazilian government wished to attract European immigrants in large-scale).
The first settlers to arrive in the area were immigrants from Russia, but, not adapting to agriculture (one of the pointed reasons for this is that they were not farmers originally), most of them soon abandoned the colony and moved to larger Brazilian cities. In late 1905, only a few Russian families had remained in the nucleus. Determined to consolidate the colony, the Brazilian government sent João Gutmann to Riga, capital of Latvia, with the goal of attracting farmers to the colony. In 1906, the place received the first settlers from Latvia, that were the responsible for the consolidation of the colony. Later, other Brazilian immigration agents were sent to Latvia and succeeded in attracting more families.
The settlement came amid great sacrifices and material deprivation. The first settlers arrived in an environment largely wild, and the Brazilian government offered little help. Just to avoid starvation required a lot of work. In this adverse context, the inhabitants did not have much free time they could use to devote to cultural activities, except for: the folkloric, the most prominent being the religious festivity; and the domestic leisure, such as paintings, games and songs. As the economic situation improved, so did the intensity of cultural activities.
The situation today is very different from the initial one. The city maintains or supports directly in several ways a wide range of departments, programs, groups and cultural institutions. Those include the Municipal Public Library (Biblioteca Pública Municipal Professor Antônio Fernandes Gonçalves) —that has a section of books in the Latvian language. Although the city later received many people from other ethnicities, the Latvian Culture is still very noticeable and there are plans for the creation of a Center of Latvian Culture (Centro de Cultura Leta) there.
The economy is based on industry, mainly textiles. The city's GDP went from R$373 million in 1999 to R$1.6 billion in 2009. With its per capita value reaching R$32,862 (2009 data) —double the national average.
The city has a highland tropical climate, semi-humid with dry winters.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
- As a note, quoting http://www.novaodessa.sp.gov.br/Historia.aspx :"e também fica esclarecido que nunca veio nenhum grupo de emigrantes da cidade de Odessa." (free translation: "and becomes also clarified that no group of immigrants ever came from the city of Odessa.")
- novaodessa.sp.gov.br - História de Nova Odessa. (in Portuguese)
- novaodessa.sp.gov.br - Biblioteca de Nova Odessa recebe doação de mais de 150 títulos letos. (in Portuguese)
- http://www.artguth.com - Nova Odessa. Economia quadruplicou em uma década. (in Portuguese)
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