Column Amar K. Soekhlal – Aflevering 37: Calcutta Papers – Kalkattá se chitti áil

In het Nationaal Archief van Suriname ligt er voor ongeveer tachtig meter aan “goud” als het gaat om de geschiedenis van de Hindoestanen. Het betreft brieven die vanuit India door familieleden van onze voorouders naar Suriname zijn gestuurd gedurende de periode van de contract tijd tussen 1873 en 1916. Dit jaar is het 145 jaar geleden dat onze voorouders in Suriname aankwamen. In dit kader heeft het Sarnámihuis samen met stichting Hum Log het plan gelanceerd om die brieven te digitaliseren en het zo te ontsluiten voor een ieder en wellicht ook voor u. Het is een meerjarig project, maar de eerste aanzet is reeds gegeven. Het ligt ook in de bedoeling om de brieven aan de geadresseerden in Suriname te koppelen aan de reeds bestaande Hindostaanse database. Hierdoor is makkelijker om te ontdekken of uw eigen familie in India contact heeft gezocht met uw náná, náni, dádá of dádi in Suriname. Dit zou toch geweldig zijn! Tevens is dit ook een makkelijke manier om eventueel familie In India te traceren.

De archieven kunnen ons ook een beter beeld geven op de ervaring van de emigratie, de situatie in India in die periode, de achtergronden van onze purkhan ( ouderen) op persoonlijk niveau.

Ik heb de brieven uit India zelf ingekeken en mogen voelen. Het was een zeer bijzondere en haast emotionele ervaring. Het was alsof ik fysiek in contact kwam met mijn voorouders. Dat contact was tastbaar. Ik pakte een brief en wat was alsof ik de zwaarte van emigratie op mijn schouders voelde. Zo had ik in mijn handen een handgeschreven brief van een familie in India die in Suriname naar hun dierbare zoon zochten. Het zijn zeer emotionele hartenkreten van ouders die radeloos op zoek zijn naar hun zoon of dochter. Kinderen die op zoek zijn naar hun vader of een moeder die wacht op geld voor medische kosten. Dat vertrek moet, voor veel pijn, verdriet en gemis hebben gezorgd, voor zowel de achterblijvers als ook voor de emigrant. Ik zal u de komende periode regelmatig op de hoogte van de inhoud van de breven die ik gelezen heb.

Zo las ik de brief van de heer Rama Bharose Ori. Zijn familie in India is naarstig op zoek naar hem. De familie woont in Basti, en dus is het zeer waarschijnlijk dat Rama Bharose Ori eveneens afkomstig is uit Basti. Na een lange speurtocht heeft de familie in India Rama Bharose Ori in Suriname kunnen traceren. Uit de correspondentie blijkt dat Rama Bharose Ori een wees is. Zijn ouders en broers zijn gestorven in India. De mensen die naar hem op zoek zijn is een neef van zijn vader. De familie in India onderzoekt wat de passagekosten zijn voor zijn terugreis. Een plaats op het dek, met voedsel en zonder voedsel.
De volgende keer nog meer goud de uit de Hindoestaanse geschiedenis.

Amar K. Soekhlal

 

1.372 gedachten over “Column Amar K. Soekhlal – Aflevering 37: Calcutta Papers – Kalkattá se chitti áil

  1. Fantastisch!I Dit is het ware goud. Ik stel voor om de familie een kopie van zo’n brief te geven, steeds wanneer je
    een brief hebt gelezen en de inhoud een beetje hebt verteld.
    Ga aub door Amar, licht de sluier van het verleden! Geef de nazaten iets authentieks tastbaars van hun
    voorouders. Plus ben jij de geknipte persoonlijkheid hiervoor, want ik vind je het boegbeeld van het Sarnamihuis.

    Met groot respect voor het initiatief.

  2. Bijzonder! Tast- en zichtbaar bewijs dat onze
    voorouders ergens vandaan kwamen waar zij
    gemist werden. Ik kan uw emotie helemaal
    begrijpen. Wat zou ik deze brieven ook zelf
    willen voelen en lezen. Met veel interesse
    volg ik uw column.

  3. Waardevol om de geschiedenis en het leven van onze voorouders te kennen en een mooi initiatief om informatie
    daarover toegankelijk te maken. Knap werk voor degenen, Sarnamihuis en stichting Hum Log, die zich daarvoor
    inzetten. En .. wat zou ik de correspondenties ook graag willen lezen!

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