Keti Koti

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Kwakoe statue in Paramaribo, representing a former slave whose chains are cut

Keti Koti (Sranantongo: "the chain is cut" or "the chain is broken")[1] is an annual celebration on July 1 that marks Emancipation Day in Suriname. The day is also known as Maspasi or Prisiri Maspasi, meaning "Emancipation" or "Emancipation Festival".[2]

Keti Koti marks the date when slavery was abolished in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles in 1863. However, enslaved people in Suriname would not be fully free until 1873, after a mandatory 10-year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for minimal pay and without state sanctioned torture.

After 1873 many slaves left the plantations where they had suffered for several generations, in favor of the city of Paramaribo.

In 2009 several cities in the Netherlands hosted various activities, making this day a day of national celebration and remembrance throughout the country.


  1. ^ van Stipriaan, Alex (2006). "Between Diaspora TransNationalism and American Globalization A History of AfroSurinamese Emancipation Day". In Gowricharn, Ruben S. (ed.). Caribbean Transnationalism: Migration, Pluralization, and Social Cohesion. Lexington Books. ISBN 9780739113974.
  2. ^ Fat, Paul B. Tjon Sie (2009). Chinese New Migrants in Suriname: The Inevitability of Ethnic Performing. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 9789056295981.