A special addition to Cultural Thursday’s presentations have been added to the April schedule at Central Lakes College in Brainerd to take advantage of a slide presentation on Suriname’s Amazon Delta by CLC sociologist Gary Payne.
Payne and Pine River teacher Mary Rosenberg — who traveled across the South American nation over 12 days in March — will present their travels in two presentations, at noon and at 7 p.m. April 19, in the Brainerd campus lecture hall (E354). Admission is free, the public is invited.
Payne said in an email release that, “Suriname’s history is one of the most unusual on the planet. It was called Dutch Guyana during centuries of slavery when large numbers of African slaves were brought over.
“But as the African slaves escaped and rebelled against the plantation owners, the Dutch brought in large numbers of indentured slaves from Pakistan, India, China and Indonesia.
“Most of the Dutch eventually gave up on slavery and left Suriname when these latter servant groups formed unions and bargained for better wages and working conditions.”
The descendants of these centuries of slavery now operate their own nation in clever ways that have allowed the different groups to unite, celebrating each other’s cultural traditions and holidays.
“The presence of temples, synagogues, mosques and churches on the same city block and sharing the same night watchman demonstrates how far ahead Suriname is regarding human relations,” said Payne.