“Our countries and peoples share goals of advancing peace, security and stability”

H.E. Mr Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname ...

As you know there is a Suriname Ghat in Kolkata and also a Mai Baap statue, developed by the Suriname Government in cooperation with the Dutch Government. Will the Indo-Surinamese population in Suriname be interested in making visits for ancestral tourism to Kolkata from where their forebears left this country over a hundred years ago, and from there on to their villages and towns?

The ties between our two countries have always been strong. Culture and traditions were maintained and cultivated over 147 years, ever since the first Indian indentured labourers arrived at Suriname on 5 June 1873. There has always been a steady flow of Surinamese tourists visiting India, mainly to the big cities like Delhi and Bombay with its attraction to Bollywood. Lately, due to an increase of the awareness of our heritage we see a new flow of cultural and ancestral visits to especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that hold the roots of our ancestors. I have visited India twice and each one was a special and fascinating experience. The stream of tourist will surely increase in the coming years also fueled by the fact that younger generations are looking more and more into their history and heritage The creation of the Mai Baap Statue and the conservation of the Suriname Ghat in Kolkata was very much appreciated as it is very important to visualize our shared history and bond.