- The development of Paramaribo in the second half of the century
- Book title
- Suriname in the long twentieth century: domination, contestation, globalization
- Pages (from-to)
- New York: Palgrave Macmillan
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Visitors to early twentieth-century Suriname would enter Paramaribo from the wharf in the Suriname River. Their first sight was the row of impressive colonial mansions along the Waterkant. Looking to their right, they would see Fort Zeelandia, located along Oranjeplein, the main city square. The tropical breeze would mitigate the colony’s oppressive humidity and motorized traffic was sparse. Since the 1960s, Zanderij airport, later renamed Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport, has become the main entrance point to Suriname. Consequently, entering the city has become a very different experience. The airport is situated approximately 40 kilometers south of Paramaribo in the district of Para and can be reached only by a two-lane road. Traffic south of Lelydorp indicates that a plane is due to arrive or depart. Driving along the road toward the city one travels through the savannah demarcating the transition from the rainforest to the coastal zone. Tiny Amerindian and Maroon settlements break the monotony of woods and grasslands. This changes abruptly when entering Lelydorp. This former desa has evolved into a bustling suburb, well known for its Javanese food stalls. After Lelydorp, the sprawl of modern-day Paramaribo begins in the district of Wanica. Significantly, the road that was known as Pad van Wanica (Wanica Path) has been renamed Indira Gandhiweg (weg means road), reflecting urbanization as well as Hindustani emancipation and globalization.
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