Friday, July 1, 2011

1st of July Slavery Remembrance Day in The Netherlands - My personal celebration


The 1st of July is the official Slavery Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. Slavery was abolished in the Dutch colonies in 1863. Because my family is split up in an Antillean and a Surinamese part, I will celebrate both cultures evenly.

Surinamese and Antillean (Dutch Caribbean) people share the same Dutch history, but they have a slightly different culture. But most of all we share the same African heritage. So my personal celebration for today in videos.

The 1st of July is also called "Keti Koti", which is Surinamese for "breaking the chains". Although the remembrance day in the Netherlands is meant for the Dutch Caribbean (the former Dutch Antilleans) and Suriname, the date is a Surinamese slavery commoration date and not an Antillean one.

The 17th of August is the national day of commemoration in the Antilles. On this day, the revolt led by Tula is remembered and the leaders of the revolt are honored. The day was declared a national holiday by proclamation in 1985.


The videos

Video of the Maroons of Suriname, music and photos

The Maroons of Suriname are often called the best kept part of Africa outside Africa. Because of their hard guerrilla warfare the Dutch closed a peace treaty with the Ndyuka people on 10the October 1760. The music is called 'Kauna' and the language could be Saramacan or Ndyuka.

A music video of creole Surinamse theatre group Naks

They sing about Mai Aisa. It's a god who is part of the traditional afro-Surinamese african religion called "Winti". It's a nature god.
When the woman talks she says: I would rather be a Kankantri (a type of Caribbean tree), so I can use my power on every side. ... Yes my motherland Suriname ...
They sing in the creole language Surinamese.

Video: Curacao: Poet Ellis Juliana

The woman says if the master thinks he can be the boss over our mind, then he is crazy. Nobody is the boss of our dances. We are masters of our fight.

Ellis Juliana says, the masters sold their slaves. He sold the men, and the women and children stayed behind. That’s what song is all about. A slave is a chicken mama, a slave is a chicken mama. Juliana says, it's real African, they expressed their shame of what has happened to them. He says I can imagine how they sang the song, hours and hours, how they discharged their feelings. The music is called "Tambu".

The language is Papiamento. A more Spanish Creole language of the Dutch Caribbean.

And to celebrate this day a of song of Izaline Calister - "Wow'i Kariño" ("Friendly eyes"), which she sang on Mother's day. Cailister won the Dutch Edison Award 2009 in the category Jazz and World Music. She was born on Curacao, lives in the Netherlands and sings in Papiamento.


Some links
One of the books that made me more aware of my history was Creole drum, An Anthology of Creole Literature in Surinam. And it's in English.
http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/voor007creo01_01/

If you have Surinamese ancestry, you may want to take a look in the online database of the Dutch National archive.
http://www.gahetna.nl/collectie/index/nt00340

Remembrance day

A video of the commemoration of 2009 in Amsterdam. The video is in the middle of the translation. (The native inhabitans also play a part in the celebration/commoration, because they also were enslaved. Recently I heard that the As)

Girl: I think it’s very important to be here today, because we celebrate the abolition of slavery and I think that all Surinamese should celebrate this day

Surinamese Asian girls: Actually we are here because it’s a beautiful day in the park, there is music, food and there are lot of nice things do to.

Elvira Sweet (then the chairman of city counsel of Amsterdam South East): It's important that people know there roots and that eventually people will find it normal to live here and because we have a shared history

Guy with red shirt: I think it's important to remember what has happened so many years ago



Dutch Woman, under secretary/minster Ank Bijleveld: I've seen the plantations in the Dutch Antillean. And I can hardly imagine how people have experienced it. That's why it's important that there is such a commemoration.

Two girls: We are here because we think it's very important for us, as Surinamese girls, to celebrate our history. And because there is lot of tasty food.

Eddy Campbell, director of Slavery Institute Ninsee. The youth has the future. And they need to celebrate Keti Koti because it contributes to the strengthening of their identity.

Voice: Is it also important that Dutch young people celebrate this?
Guy in Red shirt. Sure, That they realise it, that they know what their history is and why we are here. And why we are one.

Voice of secretary/minster Ank Bijleveld: It had a very big influence on The Netherlands of today. You can't deny what has happened in the past. You have to learn that the slave trade was dehumanising. …

Voice: the Dutch government has voiced regret for the past. Do you think The Netherlands has done enough?

Eddy Campbell: I don't think it's so important. It's just a phrase. What does regret mean if you don't take real steps to take away the disadvantaged position where we are in, and the young people are in today.

Elvira Sweet (then the chairman of city counsel of Amsterdam South East): I thing it's good gesture. But I think it has to do with the future, with acceptance, and to combat exclusion and discrimination. I think that's more important then words.

Tula - the Rebellion of 1795 in Curaçao. The video is a style impression for a feature near future about Tula

The language is Papiamento
Check out the website http://www.tulalives.org/

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