I arrived in Surinam on the 11th of August. It was nighttime when I arrived so I couldn’t see a lot of Surinam during my ride to the apartment. One of my friends in Curacao introduced me to some of his friends in Paramaribo. As soon as I arrived, they immediately asked me to join them for some drinks at Zanzibar, a bar in the center of Paramaribo. This was a very welcoming experience to say the least.
Food is happiness
The next day one of them, Gabriela, showed me around. Gabriela is from Curacao but was raised in the Netherlands and moved to Surinam for an internship. She told me she loves the life in Surinam. Mainly because of the rhythm of life and the food. People in Surinam, more than in any other country in the world (besides France), love to talk about food. And it doesnt stop at talking. They also love to eat. It doesn’t matter at what time of the day, there’s always a small restaurant or warung where you can buy some delicious Surinamese food. In Surinam, food is happiness for sure.
Natural Happiness in Surinam
One of the days i also visited Palulu Camping. A place where you can relax, swim and really enjoy the true jungle vibes in the comfort of your hammock. The owners of Palulu, Donovan and Iris are now living their dream in nature. Their place looks truly amazing.
When moving around the capital of Surinam I also talked to some taxi drivers. One of them asked me about my purpose of visiting Surinam. I told him about my documentary and a conversation about happiness followed. He told me that what makes him the happiest is the fact that he built his own life and earned money to buy himself a house. In other words, he felt freedom which made him happy. He told me that he always wanted to become a social worker because he loves to motivate people to make the best of their life. He elaborated that a friend of him dropped out of school because she got pregnant and that he decided to motivate her to continue her studies and get her teaching degree by talking to her and paying the tuition fee.
While looking for the definition of happiness in Surinam, I noticed that people in Surinam are very welcoming and open. Most of the people take time for a little chat, even if they don’t know you yet. Even though Surinam goes through an economic crisis at the moment people seem to be happy. They know how to enjoy the simple things in life, spending time with friends and family for instance.
By: Fleur Terpstra