Last Wednesday, the exhibition "Art of Survival" opened at the Tropenmuseum. It was a magnificent opening of an magnificent and important exhibition.
When two ministers of two countries, when a gaanman representing all the Suriname gaanmans is there for the occasion, there is more happening then just an exhibition. It turns out that this is the first big exhibition on the subject of marronage and, that the Royal Tropics Institute is involved in setting up centres in Suriname where much of the history of the Maroon and Suriname will be presented.
The first copy of a book with the same title was presented to the ministers of Suriname and the Netherlands at the opening and, it is a collection of articles that explain about the many aspects of the evolution of the culture of the Maroon. With separate articles on traditional religion and Christian religion, articles about music, education and city life it becomes clear that the Maroon cultures have been ever evolving like any other. The challenge is how will the Maroon people retain their identity in a globalising world.
Mr Aboikoni, the gaanman of the Saramanka said it quite eloquently; we need to record who we are and what we are. We do it for ourselves but mostly we do it for our children.