Feb 1, 2010


Javanese Surinamese

The long struggle of Indonesian in their effort to gain independence marked some sad stories, particularly for the Javanese community. By the time of Dutch occupation in Indonesia, around the year 1890-1939, tens of thousands of Dutch troops brought Javanese to the South America to be employed in the Dutch-owned plantations. The treatment then separated many Javanese families. That is why now good relationship between the descendants of a Javanese society in Suriname and Indonesia still exists.
Based on statistical data of Suriname, currently about 18% population of this county is descendants of Javanese Suriname. They mingled with the descendants of Indians, Chinese, and Americans. Uniquely, most Javanese descendants in Suriname still preserve some Javanese culture, including Javanese language and the child's name.
For the older of Surinamese, Indonesia is still regarded as the ancestral land to be introduced to the next generation. Their desire to return to their homeland and gather around again with Javanese people in Indonesia are often run aground because of distance constraints as well as their families’ will to stay and become citizens of Suriname. In addition, the difficulty tracing the family members who live in Java is also one of their considerations to go back to their ancestral land.
To fulfill their longing for Indonesia, especially Java as ancestral land, the Javanese Suriname people sometimes invite Javanese artists, be they puppeteers, Campursari (a kind of Javanese mixed music) singers, or traditional dancers to make special Performance in Suriname. 


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