Southern Chinese migrant family
|about 40,000 (2011)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Paramaribo · Wanica|
|Hakka Chinese · Cantonese · Mandarin · Sranan Tongo|
|Related ethnic groups|
Chinese Surinamese are Surinamese residents of Chinese origin. Chinese Surinamese are a small part of the Surinamese people. There are about 40,000 Chinese among the 566,846 Surinamese people, constituting about 7% of the total population. The majority of the Chinese Surinamese consider Hakka (Dongguan, Huiyang or Bao'an) of Guangdong as their ancestral homes. There is a small minority of Heshan, Guangdong Hakka as well.
Many Chinese Surinamese are active in the retail and business community. Six percent of the Chinese in the Netherlands are from Suriname.
The government of Java recruited a group of 18 Chinese for contract labor in the Catharina Sophia plantation in Saramacca. Because of the high acquisition costs it was decided to get a second group, not from Java, but from China instead. In 1858, 500 Chinese laborers were recruited by the Dutch consul in Macau. They arrived in Suriname in April, but it turned out that no one wanted to hire people to do work that slaves would do "for free".
Because of this the contract with the Chinese was changed without their knowledge by Governor Charles Pierre Schimpf in favor of the employers. The Chinese could now be treated like slaves. When they would revolt against this, they were, without due process and contrary to existing regulations, punished by police with cane strokes, an unlawful act that was repeated again and again.
An interpellation (formal request for information) to the Minister of Colonies Jan Jacob Rochussen did not help.
In the 1850s and 1860s, about 2,500 Chinese people went to Suriname. Most were employed as contract laborers on the plantations. After their contracts expired, many found opportunities in trade, mostly in food retail. Most of the male laborers were married to non-Chinese women. Those who married Chinese women, mostly married with an imported bride.
Other Chinese came to Suriname as free laborers, traders and shop assistants, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. Further large numbers came in the 1990s. In 2007 there were over 70,000 Chinese in Suriname, and the immigration is still ongoing. The rapidly growing demand in China for wood and minerals makes Suriname very attractive to Chinese businesses. The new Chinese migrants from northern China are known in Suriname as "salt-water-Chinese".
Since the 1960s, thousands of Chinese have emigrated from Suriname to the Netherlands.
The Chinese for a long time held a prominent position in small and medium business and their mostly well-educated offspring of mixed blood or Chinese blood can be found in various social sectors. Also, the Surinamese people have adopted several Chinese customs.
The original Chinese settlers were Hakka from the Fuitungon region of Guangdong; Fui5tung1on1 means three places: Huiyang or Fui5jong2, Dongguan or tung1kon1, and Bao'an County or pau3on1, Kejia (Hakka) was originally present and became the "old Chinese" of Guyana. It was previously the only spoken variety of Chinese in the country. Paul Brendan Tjon Sie Fat of the University of Amsterdam stated that Hakka people in Suriname do not frequently voice negative attitudes towards the fact that Kejia has a lower status than Dutch in Suriname.
In the 1970s Cantonese was introduced into Suriname. Beginning in the 1990s new migrants from China moved to Suriname, and Putonghua, during circa 2004-2014, became the main Chinese lingua franca in the country.
There are Mandarin and Cantonese television shows aired in Suriname.
- Surinamese people of Chinese origin
- Henk Chin A Sen 陈亚先: President and Prime Minister of Suriname, 1980-1982; Chin paternal side is Hakka Chinese and maternal side is mixed Creole
- Imro Fong Poen: Cabinet Minister, 1980-1986
- Jack Tjon Tjin Joe 张运华: Cabinet Minister, 1980-1981, 2000-2002
- Erik Tjon Kie Sim 张吉兴: Cabinet Minister, 1982-1986
- Allan Li Fo Sjoe 李火秀: Cabinet Minister, 1984-1988
- Michael Jong Tjien Fa 杨进华: Cabinet Minister, 2002-2010
- Abigail Lie A Kwie: Deputy Minister of Agriculture; Politician from Pertjajah Luhur Party
- Sandra Lee (Li Kailin): Member, National Assembly (Suriname); Politician from NPS political party
- Arthur Tjin A Tsoi: Member, National Assembly (Suriname); Politician from NPS political party
- Alwin Lee: Deputy Chief of Mission to People's Republic of China, 2012-
- Tjin-A-Djie family: Influential tycoon family
- Humberto Tan: Radio and television presenter, writer
- Cerezo Fung a Wing: Football player
- Dutch people of Chinese-Surinamese origin
- Varina Tjon-A-Ten: First Chinese elected to the House of Representatives, 2003-2006; Tjon-A-Ten is of mixed ancestry with paternal Hakka Chinese grandfather who migrated from Guangdong to Suriname
- Roy Ho Ten Soeng: Mayor, Venhuizen, North Holland, 2000-2006; First immigrant Mayor of Netherlands; First Chinese Mayor of Netherlands and Europe
- Anton Jie Sam Foek: First broadcast correspondent for the Netherlands in Latin America
- Guillaume Lo A Njoe: Artist
- Aron Winter: Member of Netherlands national football team that won the 1988 European Football Championship; Also represented Netherlands in the European Football Championship for 1996 and 2000, and FIFA World Cup, 1990, 1994 and 1998; Winter is of mixed ancestry and his paternal grandfather, Zhang Junqiang, is Surinamese Hakka
- Etienne Shew-Atjon: Football player
- Calvin Jong-a-Pin: Football player; Jong-a-Pin is of mixed ancestry
- Romero, Simon (April 10, 2011). "With Aid and Migrants, China Expands Its Presence in a South American Nation". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
- Central Intelligence Agency (2013). "Suriname". The World Factbook. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Tjon Sie Fat, "They Might as Well Be Speaking Chinese," p. 199.
- Tjon, "They Might as Well Be Speaking Chinese," p. 196.
- Tjon, "They Might as Well Be Speaking Chinese," p. 201.
- Tjon Sie Fat, "They Might as Well Be Speaking Chinese," p. 202.
- "World sport stars of Chinese origin".
- Tseng, F., De grote oversteek: het lot van de Surinaamse Chinezen, China Nu 16 (4), 1991, 16-18.
- Ankum-Houwink, J.C., De migratie van Chinezen naar Suriname, (z.p. ca. 1972).
- Ankum-Houwink, J.C., Chinese kontraktarbeiders in Suriname in de 19e eeuw, OSO, 4 (2), 1985, 181-186.
- Groenfelt, E., Impressies van de Chinese gemeenschap in Suriname: enkele culturele aspecten van Chinezen in Suriname, (z.p. 1995).
- Kom, Anton de, Wij slaven van Suriname, 1934
- Lamur, H.E., en J.A. Vriezen, Chinese kontraktanten in Suriname, OSO, 4 (2), 1985, 169-179.
- Man A Hing, W.L., The Hakkas in Surinam, in: The proceedings of the international conference on Hakkaology, (Hong Kong 1994), 189-195.
- Tjon Sie Fat, Paul B. Chinese New Migrants in Suriname: The Inevitability of Ethnic Performing (UvA Proefschriften Series). Amsterdam University Press, September 1, 2009. ISBN 9056295985, 9789056295981. Link at Google Books.
- Tjon Sie Fat, Paul B. "Old and New Chinese Organizations in Suriname" (Part IV: Chinese Migration in Other Countries: Chapter 12). In: Zhang, Jijiao and Howard Duncan. Migration in China and Asia: Experience and Policy (Volume 10 of International Perspectives on Migration). Springer Science & Business Media, April 8, 2014. ISBN 940178759X, 9789401787598. Start p. 189.
- Tjon Sie Fat, Paul B. "They Might as Well Be Speaking Chinese: The Changing Chinese Linguistic Situation in Suriname under New Migration." In: Carlin, Eithne B., Isabelle Léglise, Bettina Migge, and Paul B. Tjon Sie Fat. In and Out of Suriname: Language, Mobility and Identity (Caribbean Series). Brill Publishers, November 28, 2014. ISBN 900428012X, 9789004280120. Start p. 196.
- Zijlmans, G.C. en H.A. Enser, De Chinezen in Suriname. een geschiedenis van immigratie en aanpassing 1853-2000, ISBN 90-806479-3-4.