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Keti Koti

Join in the celebration of Keti Koti, a time to honor and remember the end of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean. Let's come together for unity and freedom.
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When it is?
July 1
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Get ready to celebrate Keti Koti on July 1 – a special holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the former Dutch colonies. This day is also known as "Emancipation Day" and is celebrated in Suriname, the Netherlands, and several other countries with ties to Dutch colonial history. It's a time to remember and honor those who fought for freedom and equality, and to celebrate the progress made towards a more just society. From traditional music and dance performances to delicious food and cultural events, there are plenty of ways to join in on the festivities and learn more about this important day. So mark your calendars and get ready for a meaningful celebration!

History of Keti Koti

Keti Koti Dates

Keti Koti Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1863</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>End of Slavery</div><div class='timeline-text'>On July 1st, 1863, slavery was abolished in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean islands, marking a monumental step towards freedom and equality.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1963</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Centennial Celebration</div><div class='timeline-text'>A hundred years after the abolition of slavery, the first major celebrations of Keti Koti (Emancipation Day) took place in Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1982</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Recognition in Netherlands</div><div class='timeline-text'>In light of increased migration and a growing Afro-Dutch population, Keti Koti began to be celebrated in the Netherlands.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2002</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>National Holiday in Suriname</div><div class='timeline-text'>Keti Koti was officially recognized as a national holiday in Suriname, further elevating its status and significance.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2013</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>150th Anniversary</div><div class='timeline-text'>The 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery was marked with extensive ceremonies in both Suriname and the Netherlands, highlighting the importance of this day.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Keti Koti

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a Keti Koti Festival</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Find a local Keti Koti festival or event to attend and immerse yourself in the celebration of emancipation and freedom. Enjoy traditional music, food, and cultural performances.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Learn about the history of Keti Koti</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take some time to research and learn about the history and significance of Keti Koti. This will deepen your understanding and appreciation for the holiday.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a potluck dinner</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite friends and family over for a potluck dinner featuring traditional Surinamese dishes. This is a great way to celebrate the holiday while also sharing culture and food with loved ones.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a lecture or workshop</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Look for lectures or workshops in your community that focus on topics related to Keti Koti, such as Afro-Dutch history or the legacy of slavery. This can be a great way to learn and engage with others.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a Keti Koti themed movie night</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather some friends and watch a film that highlights the experiences and struggles of people of African descent. This can lead to meaningful discussions and reflections on the significance of Keti Koti.</p></div></div>

Why Keti Koti is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Remembering the past and honoring ancestors</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Keti Koti, also known as Emancipation Day, is a time to reflect on the history of slavery and colonialism in Suriname and honor those who suffered. It serves as a reminder of the struggles of our ancestors and their resilience in the face of oppression.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Celebrating freedom and independence</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Keti Koti is a celebration of the end of slavery in Suriname and the beginning of freedom for Afro-Surinamese people. It's a chance to come together as a community and celebrate our cultural identity and heritage.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Educating future generations</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By commemorating Keti Koti, we can educate younger generations about the importance of this historical event and its impact on society today. It's an opportunity to promote understanding, dialogue, and unity among all communities in Suriname.</p></div></div>

5 Intriguing Facts About Keti Koti Celebrations

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Name Keti Koti translates to "Chains Broken"</h3><p class='facts-content'>The name of the holiday, Keti Koti, is derived from the Surinamese language Sranan Tongo and directly translates to "Chains Broken", symbolizing the end of slavery.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>A Sign of Respect: Wearing of Koto and Kotomisi</h3><p class='facts-content'>During Keti Koti, participants often dress in traditional Surinamese clothing: Koto (long pleated dresses) and men wearing Kotomisi (cotton shirts). This acts as a sign of respect to their ancestors.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Ritual of Water: The Bigi Broki Waka</h3><p class='facts-content'>"The Bigi Broki Waka", which translates to "The Big Bridge Walk", is a unique tradition where participants walk over a canal bridge in Amsterdam as a symbolic gesture of crossing from the past (slavery) into the present (freedom).</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Keti Koti Dialogue Tables foster Understanding and Connection</h3><p class='facts-content'>Keti Koti Dialogue Tables are organized gatherings that facilitate open discussions about the history and effects of slavery, promoting understanding and connection among diverse groups.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Culture and Tradition of Kownu Dance</h3><p class='facts-content'>Keti Koti is celebrated with traditional dances like the Kownu dance, a powerful, rhythmic expression of endurance and liberation that originated from Afro-Surinamese ancestors.</p></div></div>

Keti Koti FAQs

When is Keti Koti?

Keti Koti is celebrated on July 1 every year. In 2024 Keti Koti will occur on a Monday.

Keti Koti Dates



Jul 1



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