Saturday, April 17, 2010
Buku, a huge archive of books, articles, photographs, and paintings that relate to the history of Suriname has made it impossible for me to get anything done lately. The above is a 1967 issue of Ebony about the racial diversity of the country that remains even after half the population moved to the Netherlands soon after 1975.
"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 the full article here.
(Found via Afro-Europe)