How the people in Suriname identify varies from person
to person and how each of these many identities is defined again varies greatly.
Some of the more common ways to identify in Suriname are in terms of ethnicity,
religion, and politics. However, even the ethnicity of the people varies greatly.
For example, many of the ethnic Indians are from dozens, if not hundreds of ethnic
Indian groups who practice various religions and these people may be from different
castes as well, but in Suriname they are often grouped together first as Indian
Surinamese then secondly by their individual religion, caste, region of origin,
Despite the huge diversity in terms of identity in Suriname,
there are also many similarities from one group to the next and almost all of the
people of Suriname recognize that their similarities with each other are just as
strong, if not stronger, than their links and similarities to distant relatives
in Europe, Africa, India,
or Indonesia. Today all of the people have influenced
the others, making them all culturally closer; likewise English has become the language
of communication across groups and this shared language again ties the people together
no matter their differences in ethnicity, religion, etc.
Today these similarities unite the people in terms of identity as well as most people
identify, to some degree, with being Surinamese. Few people see this as their first
identity, but nearly everyone claims to be Surinamese as they recognize they are
not wholly African, Indian, European, or Indonesian, but a distinct form of these
cultures. The term "Surinamese" is generally defined in political terms
as everyone who is a citizen of Suriname is included in