Boekrecensie: De Rechteroever van de Saramaccarivier

Door Amar K. Soekhlal.

Een fascinerend boek, zeker door de negentien mooi vertelde verhalen. Het boek geeft een fraaie inkijk in een samenleving in een afgelegen dorp De Volharding in het district Saramacca in Suriname. Het leven is hard en wordt geteisterd door armoede, de vele ontberingen, een verstikkende sociale controle, die helaas incest niet kon voorkomen. Hoewel, de schrijver Bish Ganga, ook deel uitmaakte van die samenleving neemt hij in het boek, de rechteroever van de Saramaccarivier, een dubbele positie in. Soms is hij onderdeel van een verhaal en soms kruipt hij in de rol van een buitenstaander. Als een scherpe observator van de dagelijkse gang van zaken. En dit levert hilarische maar ook tragische beschrijvingen op van de dagelijkse gang van zaken.

De armoede en wanhoop zijn soms voelbaar. In de jaren ’50 was het gebruikelijk dat je op rekening bij de lokale winkelier (dukándár) je boodschappen haalde. Aan het eind van het jaar werd de rekening betaald uit de opbrengst van de (rijst) oogst. Maar wat doe je als de rekening zo hoog is opgelopen dat je geen zout meer kunt kopen? Klopt de rekening van de winkelier wel? Het boek beschrijft ook gebruiken die heden ten dage zowel in Nederland als in Suriname verdwenen zijn. Bijvoorbeeld het gebruik van houtskool ( koilá) bij het vervoeren van voedingswaren. Of pertinent geen goederen of geld lenen aan derden na zonsondergang, want dit kan tot grote rampen leiden. Madhurie heeft dit aan den lijve ondervonden. Of leest u het verhaal van de heer Rahimbaks, die halal gaat jagen. Voor mij als lezer was het een feest van herkenning. Ik kon de hitte van de zon op mijn rug voelen, maar ook de weelde van het bezit en de daarbij behorende dromen van een kwartje. Of de frustratie van het blootsvoets struikelend, vallend, opstaan en vervolgens baggeren door modderige paadjes. Het was “klunen” avant la lettre. Ik heb genoten van al die verhalen. Het is alleen jammer dat de schrijver voor de Sarnámi woorden niet de officiële spelling heeft gebruikt.

Het eerste boek dat Bish Ganga publiceerde was Lalbahadoer, een fatale liefde in 2008.

De rechteroever van de Saramaccarivier is het tweede boek van Bish Ganga, die zelf is geboren in De Volharding. Het is voor hem een grote opluchting als hij na een lange zoektocht eindelijk op een verveloos bord de naam van zijn geboorte dorp ziet staan. Alsof hij wil zeggen: Ik besta!

Het boek, de rechteroever van de Saramaccarivier van de schrijver Bish Ganga, is uitgegeven door Brave New Books, ISBN 9789402176605. U kunt het boek bestellen via bol.com.

163 gedachten over “Boekrecensie: De Rechteroever van de Saramaccarivier

  1. Eens was district Saramacca bloeiend,
    als betaalmeester van ministerie van
    LVV ging ik elke twee weken naar
    Saramacca, mensen waren heel
    vriendelijk. Ik kreeg zelf
    sinaasappel ook banaan. Bij plantage
    van Fam. Islam konden wij gaan
    hengelen. Dus ik heb goede
    herinneringen van Saramacca.

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