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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.


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

become entranced.

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


has to

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-

formance continues

until the bad spirits

are vanquished and

harmony and good

spirits are back in the

family. Winti can last

until after dawn.