Culture of Suriname

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Surinamese culture is very diverse and dynamic, and has a strong Asian and African influences. The population is composed of the contribution of people from the Netherlands, India, Africa, China and Indonesia, as well as indigenous peoples who lived in the area, before the arrival of European settlers. About 90% of people established in Suriname have ancestors who come from other countries and regions.

The city of Paramaribo is the heart of this small country and the sounding of their culture.

Cultural events[edit]


Main article: Music of Suriname

Suriname is a South American country, a former colony of the Netherlands with strong ties to that country. The country is well known for its kaseko music, and has an Indo-Caribbean tradition.

The kaseko probably derived from the expression "casser le corps" (rest body), that was used during slavery to describe a very fast dance. Kaseko is a fusion of many styles and folklore from Europe, Africa, and the Americas. It is rhythmically complex percussion instruments including skratji (big drum) and trap drums, and saxophone, trumpet, and trombone occasionally. May be sung solo or in chorus. The songs are typically structured to say and answer, as are the styles of the natives of the area, as winti and kawina.

The Kaseko evolved in the thirties during festivities that used large bands, particularly bands of winds, and were called Bigi Pokoe (big drum music). Following World War II, jazz, calypso, and other important genres became popular, while the rock music of the United States soon left its own influence in the form of electric instruments.

Indo-Surinamese music[edit]

Indian music arrived with immigrants from South Asia. This included folk music played with the dhantal, tabla, sitar, harmonium and dholak, tassa drums, then even. The music songs were mostly Hindu, called the "bhajans" and the filmi. The singing style tan is unique to the Indian community in Suriname and Guyana.


The Suriname Olympic Committee is the national governing body for sports in Suriname. The SOC was established in 1959 and now has 17 members. Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Chess, Cycling, Judo, Karate, Shooting, Football, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwando, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, and Wrestling.

Other somewhat popular sports in Suriname are baseball and softball, beach football and beach volleyball, boating, body building and power lifting, bridge, cricket, draughts, fishing, golf, horseback riding, snooker and billiards, squash, auto and motor sports.

One of the major sports in Suriname is football. Many Suriname-born players and Dutch-born players of Surinamese descent, like Gerald Vanenburg, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Patrick Kluivert, Andwélé Slory, Ryan Babel, Aron Winter, Romeo Castelen, and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink turned out to play for Oranje. In 1999, Humphrey Mijnals, who played for both Suriname and the Netherlands, was elected Surinamese footballer of the century.[1] Another famous player is André Kamperveen, who captained Suriname in the 1940s and was the first Surinamese to play professionally in the Netherlands.

There are a number of local heroes in other sports as well, like Primraj Binda, best known as the athlete who dominated the local 10 km (6.2 mi) for nearly a decade, triathlete Steven Vismale and track athlete Tommy Asinga. The most famous international track & field athlete from Suriname is Letitia Vriesde, who won a silver medal at the 1995 World Championships behind Ana Quirot in the 800 metres, the first medal won by a South American female athlete in World Championship competition. In addition, she also won a bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships and won several medals in the 800 and 1500 metres at the Pan-American Games and Central American and Caribbean Games.

Swimmer Anthony Nesty is the only Olympic medalist for Suriname. He won gold in the 100 meter butterfly at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and he won bronze in the same discipline at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he now lives in Gainesville, Florida, and is the coach of the University of Florida, mainly coaching distance swimmers.

In the sport of badminton the local heroes are Virgil Soeroredjo & Mitchel Wongsodikromo and also Crystal Leefmans. All winning medals for Suriname at the Carebaco Caribbean Championships, the Central American and Caribbean Games (CACSO Games)[2] and also at the South American Games, better known as the ODESUR Games. Virgil Soeroredjo also participated for Suriname at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, only the second badminton player, after Oscar Brandon, for Suriname to achieve this.[3]

Multiple K-1 champion and legend, Ernesto Hoost, is from Surinamese descent. Rayen Simson, another legendary multiple world champion kickboxer, was born in Suriname. Remy Bonjasky also a multiple K-1 champion was also born in Suriname. MMA and Kickboxing champions Melvin Manhoef, Gilbert Yvel were born in Suriname or from Surinamese descent. Retired female kickboxer Ilonka Elmont was also born in Suriname. Another notable up and comer kickboxer and K-1 fighter, Tyrone Spong, was born in Suriname. Ginty Vrede, a former Muay Thai Heavy Weight Champion who died in 2008 aged 22, was born in Suriname.


Surinamese cuisine is extensive, since the population of Suriname came from many countries. Surinamese cuisine is a combination of many international cuisines including East Indian, African, Javanese (Indonesia), Chinese, Dutch, Jewish, Portuguese, and Amerindian cuisines.

The above has ensured that Surinamese cooking has spawned many dishes; the different groups were influenced by each other's dishes and ingredients; this new Surinamese cuisine included roti, nasi goreng, bakmi, pom, snesi foroe, moksi meti, and losi foroe; because of this blending of many cultures, Surinamese cuisine is a unique creation. Basic foods include rice, plants such as tayer and cassava, and roti. Usually, there is chicken on the menu in many variations of the Chinese snesi foroe, the Indian chicken masala and pom, a very popular party dish of Creole origin. Also, salted meat and stockfish (bakkeljauw) are widely used. Yardlong beans, okra, and eggplant are examples of vegetables in the Surinamese kitchen. For a spicy taste, Madame Jeanette peppers are used.

Besides the casserole pom, roti (often served with a filling of chicken masala, potato and vegetables) is also often served on festive occasions with many guests. Other well known dishes are moksi-alesi (mixed boiled rice with salted meat, shrimp or fish, and any vegetable), rice and beans and the original Javanese nasi goreng and mie goreng.


Main article: Religion in Suriname


  1. ^ "Het debuut van Humphrey Mijnals". Olympisch Stadion. 
  2. ^ Het blijft bij één keer brons op Cacso | Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. (27 September 2012). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  3. ^ Results And Medalists. Retrieved on 12 July 2013.

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