Independence Day in Suriname

Suriname celebrates its Independence Day on the twenty fifth of November every year. The political history of Suriname was rife with rampant acts of slavery and untold torture on the local population. The presence of the nature gifted rivers contributed to the fertility of the Guyana plains. The fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries were marked in history by wide spread exploration by Dutch, French, Portuguese and English explorers.

They were seeking to explore the neighboring and new places and during such explorations, many Dutch and English explorers came to Suriname. The influx of these Dutch and English explorers finally led to their settling down along the banks of the Suriname River and the propagation of cocoa, sugar cane, coffee and cotton plantations.

But the gradual passage of time saw major disputes and differences arising among the immigrant Dutch and the English leading to major clashes between them. Finally the issues were solved with the Breda Treaty. The plantation work required laborers and the Dutch used the slaves bought in illegally from Africa to toil on these cocoa and coffee and other plantations.

Though the gruesome system of slavery was abolished in the year 1863, the actual independence came quite late in the twentieth century, in the year 1975, on the twenty fifth day of November which the Surinamese celebrate as their national day with lots of fervor and festivity. Around 21 years earlier to the actual independence, the Dutch brought about partial self rule by the Surinamese, but the all important defense and foreign affairs was still controlled by Netherlands.

Rebecca R. Ammons

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