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We are who we are, no matter how small

What makes us who we are?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not our: production, biological elements or even clothing (which also makes the man), but, what makes a person, who is h/she?
We come into this world without; talking, hating and believe, that no one is leaving.

First the gender is explained, and only then the rest of our life’s remained.
That's why history doesn't come before identity, but the other way around!
Yes, our ancestors fought for us. But WE fought for our lives, first!

History shaped our character

Community gave us standards and values, and the

Geographical location, regulations and boundaries, pointed out where one ideology ends and another begins.

Gender, History, Community, and Geographical Location.

However, due to "colonialization" this went in reverse.

Suriname is Geographically located on the north coast of South America, which made it susceptible to colonialism. Thus, most believe that its history begins with: "Suriname was a colony of England in 1650 and then from 1667 to 1954 a colony of the Netherlands."

But a man is a man, independent of his property, and a land was a land before it was an occupancy!

So the Surinamese history began, before Christ with the first communities of Arowakken and Caribbean, which established the foundation of  the Surinamese culture with their authentic respect for nature. Until the English, French and Dutch entered the Surinamese waters, with ideas of trade and colonialisms.

They occupied the lands with plantations and  brought African slaves, that mainly fled into the jungle, amd resumed their West African culture, in the so-called "Marrons(runaway slave) villages" and formed a Community, a family, not only connected by blood, but sweat and tears.

When slavery in Suriname was officially abolished on July 1, 1863, Indonesian, Indian and Chinese immigrants came with their own cultural identity to share. Although they were better treated than slaves, they also suffered from poor provision and gender inequality with a striking pay gap.

By fighting for their rights, and above all respecting each other's customs, they formed a society with: multicultural cuisines, costumes, languages and holidays. This gave the smallest country in South America the biggest personality.

Parade van vrouwen in koto’s (Surinam traditional costume)

The five points of the yellow star in the flag of Suriname represent the five predominant population groups.


Written by: Sabrinah S. Van de L’Isle

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