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.

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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.


A Dutch-Surinamese "broodje bakeljauw" in the Netherlands (bun with shredded and spiced stockfish), with a chili paste made from Madame Jeanette peppers on the side

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


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