Indian Arrival Day in Suriname Date in the current year: June 5, 2016

Indian Arrival Day in Suriname June 5 is Indian Arrival Day in Suriname. This national holiday celebrates the arrival of East Indian immigrants in 1873.

Suriname was colonized by Britain and the Netherlands in the 17th century. In 1667 the Dutch captured the territory of the state and governed it as Dutch Guiana till 1954. Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands on November 25, 1970.

Slavery was abolished in Suriname in 1863, however, a ten-year transition period was required, that is why slaves were not released till 1873. When the plantation owners felt lack of man labor, they substituted it with hired workers. The Dutch organized immigration of contract workers from the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia) and India (through an arrangement with the British).

The Indian immigrants served a 10-year contract and after its end they could go back home, however, about 2/3 remained in Suriname to build a new life. Currently Indians is the largest ethnic group in Suriname and it's represented in all sectors of the state's economy.

Celebration of Indian Arrival Day features the festivities. The central event is laying wreath and flowers at the Baba and Mai statue. This monument symbolizes the first Indian man and woman who set foot on the land of Suriname.

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