" Where did you come from? " one of the most frequently asked question in my life.
At school and later in college, when going on holiday, just walking down the street, at parties ... guaranteed that question comes up and in my case I know they are not wondering which city I come from.
Suriname, the country where I was born 28 years ago and left on my 7th. A country that’s 5 times as big as the Netherlands but with only half a million inhabitants compared to the 17 million here. Suriname, with its broccoli landscape Amazon Rainforest view from the plane window, land of the mash-: Africans, Indians, Indonesians, Dutch, Chinese. Suriname, the country where I was a happy child dancing in the rain, drinking coconut water instead of water throughout the day.
Climbing trees and eating it my belly full with exotic fruit pickings. Listening to ghost stories around the fire and sleeping outside in a hammock.
Walking on my bare feet because the ground is so soft. Wash myself in a big tub with cold water, outside in the yard. Five years old helping with plucking a chicken that has just been beheaded before my eyes, about to be served as dinner.
Roaming after my brother, trying to keep up because I just had to experience the same adventures as him. Singing the national anthem in the schoolyard with all my heart. Buying a bag of nasi for a few cents for school lunch.
Learning to read my first words becoming addicted to storybooks. My mother singing to me and brushing and braiding my long hair to make it even longer.
My grandfather who came by daily on his motorcycle after work to rest in the hammock with us. A stray dog that my brother and I rescued from the stream and turned into our watchdog Blackie. Playing with empty cans for hours under the banana tree with some stones and a lot of imagination.
Yes, some memories are so vivid. I can honestly say that the first seven years of my life have been great. So pretty, pristine and pure. Everyone should be able to have spend his first years in a country like Suriname.
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