Saturday, February 27, 2010

Black people in The Netherlands: Surinamese


Dutch black history. I have found an interesting article in an old Ebony Magazine about the background of the Surinamese community in the Netherlands. Although it’s written in an issue of 1967! it still reflects the diversity of the Surinamese community in Surinam and in the Netherlands.

The article is from a very interesting Dutch Surinamese website called Buku ,which is Surinamese for “book”.

A small update. In 1975 almost half of the population of Surinam moved to the Netherlands because of an independence most people didn’t believe in. The black people or Creoles settled in the city of Amsterdam, the Hindustani settled in the city of The Hague.

A snippet from the article

"Why come here for a story?" queried the sixth 'Black Dutchman' I met.
"Isn't Suriname a multiracial country?" I asked. Don't all of the people live together in harmony?" "Yes."

"Wouldn't you call that unique in a world torn by racial strife?"
"Perhaps so," mused the man who takes his way of life for granted.
Forty-five of the next 50 people I interviewed agreed that they live in a peaceful coexistence under a flag made up of five stars representing the five races of mankind; that in Suriname, East meets West and the twain is an elliptical orbit on the flag joining the stars together. The dissenting five are not so sure. With the coming election, Surinam's racial paradise is threatened by a power struggle between the two dominant groups: the Creoles, mixed blood (no matter how dark) descendants of African slaves who head that bauxite-rich nation, and Hindustanis, the east Indian descendants of contract laborers who have passed the Creoles economically, are catching up with them educationally and overtaking them numerically.

Read full article here

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