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Book source: Suriname, Land of Seven Peoples, Prof. Dr. F.E.M. Mitrasing, H. vd Boomen, Paramaribo.

Subject: [History, Heritage] The Javanese

Article:

The Javanese were the last ethnic group of immigrants brought to Suriname. They were selected by the Dutch government as being cheap and useful laborers to replace the former slaves at the plantations. They were recruited from Central Java because of the dense population, poverty and area where recently a vulcanic eruption had displaced many Javanese. In August 9, 1890 the Netherlands trading company shipped the first group of 94 Javanese to the sugar plantation at Marienburg, Suriname. In 1894 some 582 Javanese arrived. Thus during the period from 1890-1939 a total of 32956 Javanese immigrants arrived in Suriname and of these 60% were men. During the same period 8120 Javanese returned home. It has been recorded that these immigrants showed poor mobility and slow assimilation into Surinamese life. They were very traditonal and showed very little room for adaptation and integration. They were content even with a low standard of living and had difficulty with the Dutch language. When their contract was expired, some became small farmers and some moved to the bauxite centers of Moengo, Paranam and Billiton. One prominent batik painter of Javanese parents is Soeki Irodikromo. ------


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