Local traditions and culture in Suriname

  • Local Customs
    by isolina_it
  • The Noni Fruit
    The Noni Fruit
    by grets
  • Rubbish stand
    Rubbish stand
    by grets

Most Viewed Local Customs in Suriname

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    Bauxite

    by grets Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Bauxite, or aluminiun ore, is most commonly formed in deeply weathered rocks. Bauxite was named after the village Les Baux de Provence in southern France, where it was first discovered in 1821

    The backbone of Suriname's economy is the export of aluminum produced from bauxite mined in the country. These exports account for over 70% of Suriname's export earnings. Suriname's bauxite deposits have been among the world's richest, however, it is estimated that the reserves will be delpeted by 2006.

    Bauxite factory on the road to Brownsberg

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    FOOD: Marinated chicken legs

    by ATLC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The idea of these marinated chicken legs are of Indonesian/Surinamese origin but truthfully, I just follow my own taste here so they're a bit different all the time.

    So this is not a precise recipe, more a guideline.

    Preferably use drumsticks or legs, as they have more flavour than just chicken breasts.
    Cut the skin with scissors and pull back the skin so that the marinade will be soaked up by the meat better.

    Marinate the chicken bits for an hour or so in a mixture of garlic, ketjap sauce (or take soy sauce with plenty of brown sugar so that it thickens), and spices like:
    - ginger powder
    - sereh powder (lemongrass)
    - ketoembar (coriander)
    - a tiny bit of cumin powder
    - laos (galanga) powder
    - trassi powder (fermented prawn)

    Or use fresh spices and mash them with a thistle. Then add it to the soy sauce. Chuck in the chicken and turn a few times. After an hour or so of marinating, fry some garlic and a chopped chili or two in a bit of sunflower oil or arachide oil (peanut oil) and add the chicken bits.
    Check often to see if you need to add some of the marinade. When they're nearly done put them in a moderate oven to crisp up just a little.

    I usually use chicken wings and the pan never leaves the stove when there's a party. Everyone just gathers round and eats them directly from the pan!

    PHOTO: I cooked a big Indonesian/Surinamese dinner for 14 friends a while back. The result: no leftovers.

    MARINATED CHICKEN LEGS (CENTRE)

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    National holidays

    by ATLC Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    --
    2001
    Jan 1 New Year's Day
    March* Holi Phagwa (Hindu)
    Apr 13-16 Easter
    May 1 Labour Day
    Jul 1 Abolition of Slavery Day
    Nov 4* Diwali (Hindu)
    Nov 25 Independence Day
    Dec 21 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
    Dec 25-26 Christmas
    2002
    Jan 1 New Year's Day.
    Mar* Holi Phagwa (Hindu)
    Mar 29-Apr 1 Easter
    May 1 Labour Day
    Jul 1 Abolition of Slavery Day
    Nov 14* Diwali (Hindu)
    Nov 25 Independence Day
    Dec 11 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
    Dec 25-26 Christmas.

    Note: (a) In addition, Chinese, Jewish and Indian businesses will be closed for their own religious holidays. (b) Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the Moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself, which may last anything from two to ten days, depending on the region. *Hindu festivals are declared according to local astronomical observations and it is only possible to forecast the approximate time of their occurrence.

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    Surinam Breakfast, Lunch and Diner

    by Valeggua Written Nov 8, 2007

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    It's hard to find a typical light European breakfast in Surinam.
    The locals are used to have "heavy" meals at breakfast, lunch AND diner like bread with currychicken, or even fried rice or noodles.

    The drinks (also juices) are made with lots of sugar. Very tastfull, but dangerous for us who want to pay attention to our weight ;)
    BTW this is probably the cause of high prevalence of diabetes in Surinam...

    surinam lunch

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    FOOD: Sauto soup

    by ATLC Updated Sep 8, 2007

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    This is a chicken soup with rice, shredded fried chicken meat, parsley, crunchy fried onion (the kind you put on hot dogs), a boiled egg, bean sprouts, shredded chicken and sambal (hot chili sauce).

    The chicken soup is made with lemongrass and ginger. At least, that's how I make it.
    In my family this is the last thing served at the end of a party, around midnight or later.

    And it is my favourite lunch dish. On my Rotterdam page I mention Warung Mini, the best place in town to eat this soup.

    So you simply make a good chicken broth with real chicken (bones, skin and all) with an onion, a tomato, fresh piece of ginger, fresh lemongrass (cut the stem), some chickenbroth cubes. Once it's to your taste, take out the chicken, bone it and shred (not cut!) the meat. Fry the meat crispy, set aside in a bowl. Also put all the abovementioned ingredients in separate bowls. Keep the broth hot.
    To prepare a bowl, put a bit of each ingredient in a bowl, pour the hot stock over it. Eat with more chili sauce (sambal) or a mix of ketjap asin (dark syrupy soy sauce, the salt variety) and freshly chopped hot chili.

    SURINAME SAUTO SOUP
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    Gold mining

    by grets Written Oct 24, 2004

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    This area is rich in gold deposits, and have over the centuries been subject to gold mining. Currently Brownsberg Naturepark is in danger of illigal mining activities.

    This mine is over 200 years old, the shaft is 8m deep with a 50m long tunnel. All would have been dug by hand.

    Hand dug gold mine

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    Food

    by grets Written Oct 24, 2004

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    Suriname's food is an exotic mix of Indonesia, Creole, Indian and Chinese cuisines with a touch of Caribbean thrown in.

    We tried a Chinese and a Korean restaurant while we were there, and also some local Surinamese food.

    The dish shown in the picture was served at the Broki Restaurant, and consists of chicken with a sate sauce called Penda Sambal (a spicy peanut sauce), rice with nuts, tofu, thin, dark green beans, alpha sprouts and plantains. Absolutely delicious!

    Delicious!
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    Rubbish stands

    by grets Written Oct 24, 2004

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    Walking along the road in Paramaribo, I was amazed to come across these metal stands outside each house. They are used to place the rubbish bags on, in order to raise them off the ground, away from any rummaging rodents. What a good idea!

    Rubbish stand
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    Noni Fruit

    by grets Written Oct 24, 2004

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    Known as the Devil's Apple, the noni fruit is said to be a "cure-all" and is revered by the local people, despite its bad smell. Other names include Nono (in Tahiti & Raratonga), Nhau (in Southeast Asia), Indian Mulberry (in India), Mengkudo (in Malaysia), Polynesian Bush Fruit, Painkiller Tree (in Caribbean islands), Kura (in Fiji), Grand Morinda (in Vietnam), Cheesefruit (in Australia), or Bumbo (in Africa).

    The Noni fruit has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries - The earliest reference to this dates back several thousand years in India where it was used in Ayurvedic medicine - it has been found in Sanskrit writings from that time. Recent tests have isolated the "active" ingredient in the fruit, proxeronin, which is said to aid the intake of vitamins and minerals and enhance cellular functions. Most parts of the plant are used - fruit, flowers, seeds, bark and roots, all for their individual medicinal properties.

    Scientific name is Morinda Citrifolia, it is an evergreen tree which bears fruit all the year round. One a fruit is picked, another will grow in its place within three months.

    The Noni Fruit
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    Dar! Dar! A normal greetings from a Surinamese

    by simbac2001 Written May 13, 2003

    I have always been enthusiastic about one's country culture and norms I visited, I had to opportunity to learn a little about the surinamese's culture.
    This is a photo of some articulated work of the Trio Amerindians. I purchased some items for souvenir. Most of the craftwork comes from Kwamalasamutu.
    The Trio Amerindians have always worked with natural beads and features. During the 19th Century the German Kappler wrote in his journal how beautiful the aprons of beads were that the women were wearing, the Kwejoe's. In the good old days the rate for a large cotton hammock was one chopping knife, a small one was traded for two cards with buttons. Nowadays one pays with real hard cash.
    The Surinamese Trio lives in the area of Palumeu, and near the Corantijn River. The related Waiwai tribe lives in my country Guyana.
    I must say I'm proud to be one of the generation of the Amerindian.

    Trio Amerindians Hand Work
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    Dar! Dar! A normal greetings from a Surinamese

    by simbac2001 Written May 13, 2003

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    I have always been enthusiastic about one's country culture and norms I visited, I had to opportunity to learn a little about the surinamese's culture.
    This is a photo of some articulated work of the Trio Amerindians. I purchased some items for souvenir. Most of the craftwork comes from Kwamalasamutu.
    The Trio Amerindians have always worked with natural beads and features. During the 19th Century the German Kappler wrote in his journal how beautiful the aprons of beads were that the women were wearing, the Kwejoe's. In the good old days the rate for a large cotton hammock was one chopping knife, a small one was traded for two cards with buttons. Nowadays one pays with real hard cash.
    The Surinamese Trio lives in the area of Palumeu, and near the Corantijn River. The related Waiwai tribe lives in my country Guyana.
    I must say I'm proud to be one of the generation of the Amerindian.

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    FOOD: Bara

    by ATLC Written Jan 19, 2003

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    Bara is a Hindustani snack too.
    It's a deepfried fritter made of dough spiced with things like cardamom and cumin. Eaten hot and spread with chili sauce (sambal), preferably as spicy as possible.

    Here's mine, and I've already taken a bite.
    LOL!

    BARA, SURINAMESE SNACK

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    FOOD: Mister Roti

    by ATLC Written Jan 19, 2003

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    At most fairs that take place in my hometown Brielle (Netherlands), we have the Surinamese snack stand right in front of our house. No coincidence! We provide him with electricty, water and toilet and we get free food!
    I call him Mister Roti.
    Roti being an Indian dish consisting of a kind of pancake, with which you eat meat (chicken, lamb or beef), potato and vegs all spicy and hot!

    It's always a feast when he comes, my Mister Roti. A beautiful big black man with his lovely wife who doesn't look a day older than 40 but has grown children and many grandchildren.

    I usually help clear up when he finishes selling late at night and then we drink coffee and tea together.

    Indian people (or Hindustani as the Surinamese call them), have a big impact on Surinamese cuisine.

    SURINAMESE SNACKS

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    FOOD: Sateh sauce

    by ATLC Updated Dec 7, 2002

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    Again, this is more a guideline than a recipe.

    Needed:
    - 2 jars of the cheapest peanutbutter (preferably not the very light coloured kind)
    - tin of coconut milk
    - extra milk if needed
    - hot chillies to taste
    - ginger, laos, koriander (either powder or freshly thistled)
    - about 4 maggi cubes to taste (instead of salt)
    - Sweet ketjap sauce (Ketjap manis)
    - Salt ketjap sauce (Ketjap asin) or soy sauce
    - two onions, chopped
    - chopped garlic to taste
    - arachide or sunflower oil

    Fry off the garlic, chillies and onion until the onions are lightly browned.
    Add all the other ingredients, stirring well to make the mixture emulsify.

    Add any of the ingredients extra to taste while the sauce is warming up.

    Freeze if needed later. Keeps ages!
    When you warm it up, you may need to add extra milk, water or coconut milk (whatever you prefer) while mixing well.

    Makes a lovely bite at parties with prawn crackers or slices of French bread.

    As for the secret ingredient:
    it's a homemade petjil from my mother's kitchen which keeps for years and is unsurpassable!

    To make up, you can buy petjil in blocks or as powder at an Asian or Indonesian store.
    Also spelled as pecil, petjil, petjiel...
    Just crumble it into the sauce and mix in well.
    But you can do without.

    Ketjap is an Indonesian soy sauce, very syrupy in consistency.
    Ketjap manis is sweet
    Ketjap asin is salty.
    Both contain a lot of sugar. Although I never do it, you might get a similar result by using soy sauce and adding a lot of dark brown sugar.

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    Abolishment of slavery

    by ATLC Written Aug 26, 2002

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    The monument of the abolishment of slavery.
    The abolishment took place in 1863 by King Willem III. After that, workers from China were brought in, from 1873 also people from India (in agreement with the British government) and from 1890 also Javanese from Indonesia (a Dutch colony at the time).

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Suriname Hotels

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  • Guesthouse ZIN

    Van Roseveltkade 20, Paramaribo 0000, Suriname

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Families

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