Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Suriname Gandhi FDCs

Hello Gandhi Philatelists,

Firstly, wishing all of you a belated Gandhi Jayanti! If there has been any philatelic issue on this 2nd October around the world, please inform us by way of emails or comments.

I had published an article earlier on the different types of FDCs brought out for the Gandhi Germany 1969 issue. The link is given below:

Today's post is about the various FDCs prepared for the 1969 Suriname Mahatma Gandhi issue.

Though other South American nations like Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, etc. have also issued stamps on Gandhiji, we hardly find a couple of types of FDCs of those stamps. But isn't it intriguing that Suriname has as many as 10 FDCs (to my knowledge) for the Gandhi issue? The images of these FDCs are shown below:

The popularity of the issue might be understood if one looks into Suriname's history.

The region of Guyana in South America had 3 imperialist occupants - the British, the French and the Dutch (Netherlands/Holland). The British portion is today the country of Guyana, the French is French Guiana, while the Dutch portion is Suriname. Before it became fully sovereign and independent on 25th November 1975, Suriname was referred to as Dutch Guyana.

The Dutch, who had colonized parts of India and South-East Asia, took back with them thousands of people from India to work in the plantations in Suriname during the 19th century. These were contract laborours from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh areas. It is to this effect that even today, the largest demographic populace in Suriname is "Hindoestanen", which is a modified form of "Hindustani", or Indian.

Thus, I believe the sentiment towards the leader of their ancestral nation is seen in the popularity of this issue and the numerous FDCs brought out in the Mahatma's honour. Also, the Suriname PTT Department had made arrangements with several big dealers to come out with various types of FDCs, so that they could be easily passed on to collectors. This lead to the large number of beautiful covers being brought out for this issue.


Nikhil Mundra

5th October 2010