Eid al-Fitr in Suriname || Reminiscing Family Traditions

in ReggaeJAHMlast month

Today's Eid Al-Fitr; feast of the breaking of the month of fasting; which is also celebrated in Suriname. You don't have to be a Muslim to participate in this religious feast, as everyone is welcome to celebrate this auspicious day with those who do observe the faith, especially in Suriname.


Traditionally there are a lot of activities in Suriname surrounding this feast, like the nationwide praying at Onafhankelijkheidsplein (Independence square), or in the different mosques and visiting family and friends, where everyone brings a dish and/or snacks. In some neighborhoods you could even go to every house in the street, where you'll be welcomed and be offered to eat and drink.

For me it used to be a tour through the country: as we first went with a boat to two of my mothers uncles (one on her mothers side and one on her fathers) - where we get to see uncles, aunts, cousins and old friends we don't get to see everyday - at the Plantation Laarwijk and ended up at my grandparents home in the capital city. Sometimes we even went to visit another aunt of my mothers (widow of one of her uncles), who also lives in the same neighborhood as my grandparents or they visited us. And at every home we've visited there's a variety of different dishes, where I made a full mixed plate, because I wouldn't know which one to choose, after which I got into a food "coma" 😅.


At my ancestral grounds in Laarwijk.

Unfortunately, this tradition couldn't have been continued for the past two years, because we didn't want to risk the health of my grandparents and this year there's even a full lockdown on this day. So no visiting mosques, no Independence square, no family visits and no "food coma". Food aside, I do miss connecting with my (extended) family and catching up with those I haven't seen in a while.

I am thankful though, that we are alive, have food to eat and have the ability to connect with them virtually, as a lot of people around the world don't even have those options. Yes, I was sad earlier today, but in order to stay sane, I kept reminding myself of what I do have. How did you get to spend today?

Eid Mubarak to all!

Chasse into the backstage! 💃



I've always wanted to learn more about the Islamic culture of Suriname because I realize there are Muslims here from Indian ancestry, Javanese ancestry, and much more. I've always wondered if they share the same mosques, learn Arabic at any capacity, send kids to same madrasas, etc.?

In Cambodia I think it's probably 7-8% Muslims, but they come from Cham (Malay) ancestry and Khmer ancestry. The two groups like to keep separate, where the Khmers prefer to call themselves "Islamic Khmers" and the Chams call themselves "Cham." It's almost a caste system in a way, because the "Islamic Khmers" are converts from Buddhism at some point in history whether several hundred years ago or even in this lifetime.

Khmers are the overwhelming majority ethnic group in Cambodia, probably 95% or more of the country are Khmer. These Khmers are probably 95% or more Buddhist, so the Islamic Khmers stay attached to this group through ethnic identity, keeping themselves aligned with those ultimately running the country and its government.

The Chams have only arrived in the last several hundred years, so they have a less recent claim to Cambodia, and some Khmers still consider them immigrants. I realize Suriname doesn't have such a long history, but I wonder if there are some kinds of divisions within the Islamic community here?

Posted via ReggaeJahm | Reggae Culture Rewarded

Man, this is almost a post haha, but valid questions and happy that you take an interest in the different cultures here 😊.

I asked a Muslim friend for reference, because I would've answered as an "outsider", but what I had thought were right.

In "short":

  • The biggest branches of Islam are the Sunni and the Ahmadiyya.
  • In the Javanese communities you have the East- and West prayers. The distinction is mainly that the West prayers have a mix of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and are also worshipping/honoring ancestors.
  • Between all the branches there's an overlap. The difference lies in interpreting and practicing the Koran. The division came in the time of the Khalifa's (reformers).
  • Generally everyone's welcome to come and worship as long as you are hygienic, decently clothed and obeying the rules of the mosque you are visiting. It doesn't matter what you look like, who you are and/or from where you are. Different peoples' and/or nationalities have visited the mosques in Suriname.
  • Mosques used to be open for the general public, because anyone who wants to pray and worship should be free in doing so, but because of vandalism and vagrants who left debris behind, the mosques got locked. There were also burglaries, so yeah.
  • The Arabic language is the same everywhere, but the pronunciation may differ.


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Damn!! No "country flex", as we would say in JA. The house in the picture and trees and all looks like my Granny yard on my father's side. I seriously miss that about island life culture or is that black people culture or is that western life ( you know what I mean lol), just going to a relatives house and all the cousins and uncles n aunts you know and don't know. and OH YES the food. Last time I did that was Xmas 2016 or 17.

Fi real, gwaan give thanks same way, I can just imagine the pandemics of the past, no communication at all with relatives even a couple miles away much less a good distance. But then, not sure they had lockdowns then but I can imagine people stayed put.

Hahaha yes, this place used to be my great grandmothers' house (don't know if it was also in the family before her though) and now it's her sons'; my great uncle's and I think it's the "plantation"/country life 😂, with family, relatives and food.

I know that the older generation was more out working the land and there were social gatherings, but wouldn't know how often. And I think it got pretty dark soon, without electricity then.


There has already been too much ENGAGE today.

WOW @tanjakolader - awesome post. Great memories I bet 🙏🏼

Thank you and those were really highlights when growing up. We got decked out, wearing our newest clothes, got to see cousins we normally don't see, received something called "pietra" (money/gifts for the children) from the elder, etc.

Update: my parents picked me up today to go and eat some good food at our grandparents today; was a combo of celebrating Mother's day and Eid 😁. Although, not everyone was present and was of course not as huge as it would've been, but the important thing was seeing my family and catching up.


🙏🏼 @tanjakolader

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Thank you 😊. Really motivates one to continue and work on getting better and better at this.

Have an awesome weekend 😁.