Tuesday 05 July 2022

Campaigners call for public holiday on Keti Koti to mark end of slavery

Photo: Wikipedia

Equality campaigners have made a fresh plea to make Keti Koti, the annual commemoration of the abolition of slavery on July 1, a national holiday.

Organisations including Nederland Wordt Beter, The Black Archives and radio station FunX said the liberation of slaves in the Dutch colonies of Surinam and the Antilles in 1863 deserved nationwide recognition.

Last year 62,000 people signed a petition calling for July 1 to be made a national holiday. The leaders of the four largest cities also wrote to parliament in support of the idea, arguing that the colonial past ‘needed to be spoken about openly’.

This year the organisations have launched a social media campaign and website (‘Ik neem vrij op 1 juli’) encouraging people to take a day off and photograph themselves commemorating the abolition.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by DeGoedeZaak (@degoedezaaknl)

Keti Koti – meaning ‘broken chains’ in the Surinamese language Sranantongo –
has been celebrated in a number of Dutch towns and cities since 2002, with the main ceremony taking place in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark.

Last year Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema formally apologised for the part the city played in the slave trade, but prime minister Mark Rutte has resisted calls for an official apology from the government.


Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.