Paramaribo- the Dutch Capital of Suriname
The Mosque and Synagogue peacefully side by side
Arriving in Paramaribo, Suriname from Trinidad was just surreal. For those of you who don’t know where Suriname is, it is at the North Coast of South America, somewhere between Brazil and Venezuela, but even though it is in South America it does not feel much like it.
People here speak Dutch in addition to various Creoile languages, and I heard from someone that Surinamese people are some of the most diverse in the World! And there was clearly a wide span of Ethnics, religions and linguistics in this multicultural town of approximately 250 000 people.
I was picked up at the airport by my gay, nudist, couchsurfing host Lloyd who was quite a character but also super friendly to let me have my own room, cook breakfasts for me in the mornings and drive me around to show me the highlights of the town.
What I thought was quite remarkable was the Neveh Shalom Synagogue and the Keizerstraat Modque that was placed right next to each other. Apparently the Synagogue is filled with sand all over the floor to represent the Jews wandering through the desert. I was not allowed in, but have since seen pictures and it looks pretty awesome.
The Palm Garden where lots of events are happening
A lot of the buildings were quite worn down and built in the same Victorian style as the famous “Long Street” in Cape Town. A lot of them had interesting stories, like the slave house, now used as a redtaurant where they still had the slaves used to weigh the slaves. There were also a lot of big, polished rocks as ships from Europe would come empty, so they needed weight to stabilise the ships and left them there before returning full with goods to Europe.
The slave weight scale was used as a table for pastries