Voel je thuis waar je ook bent

Het is bijna 145 jaar geleden dat er Indiase contractarbeiders met medewerking van de Britse regering naar Paramaribo reisden. In haar nieuwe boek:  Voel je thuis waar je ook bent: van Jodhpur naar Paramaribo en daarna naar Diemen, schrijft wetenschapper Professor Sharda Nandram over immigratieverhalen uit Rajasthan. Dat de meeste immigranten kwamen uit de regio Uttar Pradesh en Bihar is bekend. Wat niet bekend is dat er ook mensen uit andere plaatsen zoals Rajasthan, Jodhpur (Dujjar en Bilaniyasar) naar Suriname zijn gereisd. Zij hebben andere elementen uit India naar Suriname meegenomen. Sharda Nandram heeft zich laten inspireren door haar 92-jarige vader, Bechoepersad Nandram (weduwnaar van wijlen Mw. Praandei Kanhai). Er zijn verhalen van drie generaties, haar opa over de reis van Jodhpur naar Suriname. Haar vader vertelt over het leven in Suriname en zijn eigen emigratie naar Nederland. De auteur zelf vertelt over haar eigen intense band met Rajasthan en de Indiase cultuur. Het boek vertelt over immigratiegeschiedenis op een luchtige en toegankelijke manier.   Het is de eerste keer dat verhalen van immigratie in drie talen zijn gepubliceerd: Hindi, Nederlands en Engels.

De wijze waarop het boek is samengesteld is uniek. Het behandelt de effecten van immigratie op de immigrant, zijn nakomelingen en het ontvangende land. Haar reflectieve manier van schrijven is bedoeld om te verbinden tussen de immigrant en de niet-immigrant, tussen de pijn en de vreugde die het heeft gebracht, tussen wat oud lijkt maar eigenlijk ook nieuw is, tussen wat arm oogt maar veel rijkdom en wijsheid kent. Het is een manier om diverse dimensies van immigratiegeschiedenissen te begrijpen. Niet alleen de economische, sociale en culturele maar vooral de menselijke kant.  Het boek is verkrijgbaar bij Bol.com en op http://shop.praan.nl/product/voel-je-thuis-waar-je-ook-bent/.

89 gedachten over “Voel je thuis waar je ook bent

  1. Beste Amar,
    Een mooie recensie in deze tijd waarbij wij 145 jaar Hindostaanse immigratie naar Suriname vieren.
    Mij intrigeert het dat de schrijfster vertelt over haar eigen intense band met Rajasthan en de Indiase ciltuur.
    Ik ben zelf een paar keer naar die omgeving geweest ( Rae Bareli) om contacten te zoeken met mijn familie.
    Jammer dat het niet gelukt is. Daarom denk ik dat het boek een rijke aanvulling zal zijn van mijn eigen ervaringen.

  2. “Dit boek is ontroerend omdat het
    geen verhaal is van een bepaalde
    persoon, maar een verhaal van een
    samenleving waarin het gaat over de
    pijn om het land te verlaten op zoek
    naar werk, het probleem van de
    uitdagingen van de nieuwe plaats en
    de drang en het geluk om in harmonie
    te komen met die uitdagingen die zich
    aandienen” schrijft de ambassadeur
    van India in Nederland in zijn voorwoord.
    De offers die de contractarbeiders
    voor Suriname hebben gebracht zijn
    enorm. Ze hebben heel sober geleefd
    en zoveel mogelijk geld opzij gezet,
    zodat hun kinderen het beter konden
    hebben. Het is de vraag of de nieuwe
    generatie hiervan voldoende bewust is.

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