|Kalpana Patowary in Statue of ‘Baba and Mai’|
(Father and Mother) in Suriname.
The commemoration of the Indian migration is always on the 5th of June. On that day the Surinamese government and people of the Indian Diaspora pay tribute to the Indian ancestors at the statue of ‘Baba and Mai’ (Father and Mother). This statue is situated at the spot where the first laborers entered Suriname on June 5th, 1873, in the then so called “Coolie depot”.
|Replica of ship Lalla Rookh - |
symbolises the first ship with
Statue of ‘Baba and Mai’
|(Father and Mother) in Suriname|
From 1873 until 1916 some 64 ships arrived in Suriname to bring 34.304 contract workers from India. An additional 3000 came via the British and French West Indies. About 11.700 returned to India when their contract was completed. The others renewed another contract or settled as a free citizen and they received 100,- guilders in lieu of the return ticket. Those workers who decided to remain in Suriname upon completion of their contract were provided land. These were abandoned plantations which were divided in plots of 2 hectares. They could build their own houses (huts) and plant to provide for their own. Also they could find work during harvest time on adjacent plantations. Further importation of contract workers from British India was halted after 1916 because of Indian Nationalists pressure.