14 May 2012

Indian theme on foreign stamps..


100 years of Indian Immigrants Arrival


Suriname is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west & Brazil to the south. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as Dutch Guiana. Suriname achieved independence from the Netherlands on 25 November 1975.

It has an estimated population of approximately 490,000, most of whom live on the country's north coast, where the capital Paramaribo is located.

Slavery was abolished by the Netherlands in Suriname in 1863, but the slaves in Suriname were not fully released until 1873, after a mandatory 10 year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for minimal pay and without state sanctioned torture. As soon as they became truly free, the slaves largely abandoned the plantations where they had suffered for several generations, in favour of the city, Paramaribo.

As a plantation colony, Suriname was still heavily dependent on manual labour, and to make up for the shortfall, the Dutch brought in contract labourers from the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) and India (through an arrangement with the British). In addition, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, small numbers of mostly men were brought in from China and the Middle East.

According to the 2004 census, Indians form the largest major group at 37% of the population. They are descendants of 19th-century contract workers from India. They are from the Indian states of Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Most of the Indians are Hindu, but some practice Islam or Christianity. Surinamese Hindi or Sarnami, a dialect of Bhojpuri, is the third-most used language, spoken by the descendants of South Asian contract workers from then British India. There are also several Hindu and Islamic national holidays like Diwali, Phagwa and Eid. There are several holidays which are unique to Suriname. These include the Indian (Hindoestaanse), Javanese and Chinese arrival days. They celebrate the arrival of the first ships with their respective immigrants.

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Suriname released stamps 1973 to celebrate 100 years of Indian immigrants arrival.

- Kenneth Sequeira

email : kenneth.sequeira@hotmail.com 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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