From 1873 - ten years after the abolishment of slavery - until 1916 some 34,000 Indian contract labourers came to Surinam to take over the work on the plantations. This is how my ancestors ended up in Surinam. My great grandfather boarded the Indus III in October 1908 and arrived in his new motherland on 5 December of that same year.
The Sarnami House has a permanent exhibition which tells the story of these immigrants, backed up by painstaking research and excellent photo material. Anyway, for the next couple of months the Sarnami House will host a great programme related to this Indian diaspora, or more precise, they have invited various well-known writers in diaspora to give lectures on the various diaspora issues and how they have translated this in their own literary works.
The kick-off was last Friday with none other than Dutch-Iranian writer Kader Abdolah. Naema Tahir, Anil Ramdas and Amal Chatterjee will also be honouring the Sarnami House during the next couple of months. For the full programma, check out Sarnamihuis.net.