The Surinamese Diaspora

Of the 1.000.000 Surinamese people in total, 600.000 live in Suriname and 400.000 live in the Netherlands. In Belgium and France also groups of Suriname people live.

Surinamese people in the Netherlands are people who come from Surinamese or have Surinamese parents. From 1667 to 1975, Suriname was part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The migration began during the colonial era. Initially this was mainly the colonial elite but expanded during the 1920s and 1930s to the less fortunate inhabitants looking for better education, employment or other opportunities.

Approximately 400,000 individuals of Surinamese descent now live in the Netherlands, with mass migration beginning in the years leading up to Suriname's independence in 1975, and continuing in the period immediately after independence and during military rule in the 1980s.

Surinamese people continued to migrate to the Netherlands throughout the 1990s because of the then tough economic situation in Suriname. Most Surinamese people in the Netherlands have a Dutch passport and the vast majority of whom have been successfully integrated into Dutch society.

Six percent of Dutch people of Chinese descent can trace their ancestry through Suriname. Most of them of Hakka descent.


The Surinamese people are a multi-ethnic group. One could say one of the most successful stories of integration.

The largest population group, both in Suriname and in the Netherlands, are the Hindustani. In Suriname, they make up 27.4 percent of the population, followed by the Creoles with 17.7 percent. The third population group (14.7 percent) are the maroons, the descendants of the slaves. Javanese are in fourth place with 14.6 percent.

The rest, a quarter of the population, consists of, among others, Chinese, Indians, "boeroes" (descendants of the Dutch) and the descendants of the Jews who settled in Suriname during the colonial era.

A unique characteristic aspect of the Surinamese people is the acceptance of each other's religions and celebrating all religious festivities together.

Independence Day

Independence Day (or Srefidensi Dey), is a day that is celebrated with dedication. People put on traditional Creole clothes, take to the streets and congratulate each other on independence.

On November 25, 1975, the proclamation of the independent Republic of Suriname took place.

As the first president of the Republic of Suriname, J.H.E. Ferrier sworn.

The quest for independence was announced on 15 February 1974 by Prime Minister H.A.E. Arron. The government statement stated that independence would take place "at the end of 1975".