J OURNA L I S T
efore the military coup of
February 25, 1980, we had a
lively film culture. The coup
included a curfew at dusk,
when people would be going to
watch the latest Hollywood thriller.
Theaters had to close their doors.
In 2012 my husband and I started
a film company, The Back Lot, to get
the film industry back on its feet. The
last film we helped produce was “The
Old Man Who Read Love Stories,”
filmed in French Guiana, our neighbor,
and it starred Richard Dreyfuss. Here
we made “Paramaribo Capers,” about
the ’80s, a documentary about Dutch
conspiracy with the military coup. The
December Murders will probably not
play a role in the elections. They were
so long ago. It’s old hat.
Multicultural mingling is old hat too.
We marry each other. We celebrate each
other’s religious holidays. [The Hindu
starts tomorrow, and it’s
a national holiday so everyone is free.
People who have Indian friends will
celebrate with them. If you ask a child
why he isn’t going to school tomorrow,
he or she will tell you it’s Diwali.
At the end of Ramadan, the last
prayer is held on the lawn at Inde-
pendence Square. People come to
pay respects or pray. You can say,
“I’m a Muslim, and this is what
I do.” Bend your knees and pray
what you believe. People sell food
because after the prayer, every-
body can eat again.
CAR I B GU I DE
here is one belief in Suriname
that is no longer a taboo.
Winti is now an accepted
religion like Christianity and
Islam. In the last census, it
was a belief you could belong to. It is
performed when there is tension,
sickness or death in the family. A
trance feast is organized for the family.
Tom-toms begin to play traditional
music, and that’s when those involved
We, from the interior, believe we
have a protective soul. In nature
there are different
which have difficulty protecting
us when bad lassies are around.
That’s when the
happen. It could be between a
brother and sister, father and
daughter, sickness or death.
The family members
talk about their problems.
The elders listen, evalu-
ate the situation and
discuss a solution. The
bad lassies are brought
to light, and the per-
until the bad spirits
are vanquished and
harmony and good
spirits are back in the
family. Winti can last
until after dawn.