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HINDUSTANI/INDIAN CULTURE IN SURINAME


After ending the slavery, labourers from India were brought to Suriname to satisfy the demand for labourers. They came here as contracting labourers for a period of five years. After finishing the contract they might return to India or extend the contract for an other five years, or remain in Suriname. If they remain in Suriname they received an amount of money equal to the cost for their journey back to India, and a piece of land.

Monument of Baba and Mai
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali

Monument of Ghandi
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali


Most of the Indian labourers choosed to stay in Suriname. They were sent to remoted rural areas in the districts. The money they got by hard working and saving was used to buy additional pieces of land. Later on some of these former contracting labourers settled near and in the capital of the country. After the Second World War they moved more and more to the vicinity of and in the capital. Nowadays descendents of these immigrants are present in almost all sectors in the society.

Hindu Temple
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali

Islamitic Mosque
Photo: Copyright 2002 Moekiran A. Amatali


Traditional ceremony of Hindustani marriage, Paramaribo, 2006
Photo: Copyright 2006 Moekiran A. Amatali

Traditional symbolic burning of the witch at Dewali night, Paramaribo, 2006.
Photo: Copyright 2006 Moekiran A. Amatali

Praying ceremony prior to the traditional symbolic burning of the witch at Dewali night, Paramaribo, 2006
Photo: Copyright 2006 Moekiran A. Amatali


The Hindustani ethnical group in Suriname can be devided into three groups when religion is taken into account namely, Hindus, Muslims, and a small group of Christians. The culture of the Hindustanis is related to these religions. They developed their culture and among themselves the Hindustani language is spoken. This language had its own development and known nowadays as the Sarnami.


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Copyright 2001-2006 Moekiran A. Amatali