Dutch | Surinamese Creools
I am a mixed-race woman from a White Dutch mother and a Black Surinam Father, they call it also Creools. It’s a mix of African, Arawak Indian, Chinese and Jewish. The Father from my Father is from a black Creools Father and a (White) Jewish mother (probably Portuguese Jewish). The Mother of my Father is from a Black African Father and an Arawak Indian Mother. I have no religion other than I am a spiritual being who believes in ‘the universe and all that it involves. I believe that everything vibrates, and my collective memory is driving me through life. I know I belong near to water (maybe because of my background of the Arawak Indians who lived next to rivers for decennia’s) or looking at numbers who will tell me things about what to do. Knowing that I can’t sleep when its full moon, knowing that as a scorpion star sign I am a certain way. I am a person who values personal growth, seeks new challenges, strives for excellence in what they do and looks for meaningful purpose in my life. Goal oriented intrinsically motivated with values such as: freedom, professionalism, connection, being sincere, straightforwardness. I am straight and also try to have an open mind with a little twist of conservative that means that I believe that every human being is able to love a person from the same as well as the other sex. We are on this scale between straight and gay I believe where some are more extreme on one sight than the other person. I am 70 % straight I feel.
My Mother is Dutch, and my Father is Black Surinam Creools (a mix of African, Arawak Indian, Chinese and Jewish). My Mother’s family name is Dekker and they lived in Arnhem (Netherlands). My Father’s family name is Wekker and they lived in Tilburg (Netherlands), they came from Surinam to Holland in 1954. The Father of my Mother was CEO of the Dutch welfare organization in Arnhem. The Father of my Father was CEO of the Dutch welfare organization in Tilburg. Because of their similar names the mail got always mixed up so they had many phone calls during a period of time to get the mail on the right location again.
One day my Grandpa from my Father’s side (his name is Desi Wekker) said to my Grandpa from my Mother’s side (his name is Bert Dekker) my son’s graduation dance is coming up would your daughter be interested to be his companion? And so they did, my Mother and Father both were 19 at the time.
My Mother always had a crush with Harry Bellefonte, so she was really happy to meet my Father and so was my Father happy to meet my Mother, they were really in love. Unfortunately, my Father was raised with the value that men can have multiple woman at the same time. In the Surinam culture and also for example at Curacao it’s ‘normal’ to have a ‘buiten vrouw’ or ‘by side’. It really makes me angry and sad to write about it. This is why I as a girl really couldn’t trust men at all and now still I still have issues with trusting my guys (not to the extreme fortunately, but still it is a problem). When I was 4 years old my parents got divorced. My little sister (1.5 years younger) & I were a little bit broken because of it.
When I was 25 years old I suddenly really recognised/ understood that I was really different from my White friends, before that I already knew I was not Black because when I went out with my Black friends always reminded me I was not because I didn’t know things about food or Surinam words and such. So it was really difficult. I felt I didn’t belong anywhere. For my White friends I was Black and with my Black friends I was White. When I was 25 years old I was with another mixed-race friend and it was summer, so our skin was really dark, and we were wearing slippers. We looked down at our feet, they were really dark skinned as well. That was really the ‘aha’ moment I realised that I was not White. We laughed about it and were both astonished at the same time. My friend who was 23 years had same insight as me at that exact moment. Because my Mother raised me and my sister form when I was 4 years old we didn’t come in contact with my Surinam cultural side only when we visited our Father’s family. We did meet and see all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds and countries all the time, at school but I never saw ME. I didn’t have a role model.
I grew up in a White oriented/ Jewish environment/ neighbourhood. Later when I was 12 years old it changed to completely White, from when I was 18 years I entered the ballet academy and I came in contact with Surinam girls and Indonesian guys, they immediately became my friends. Before from when I was 6 years old till 12 I was in a mixed-race school with kids from all over the world. My best friends were a girl from Ethiopia, a girl from Morocco and a boy from Surinam. But my house was in a White neighbourhood. My parents didn’t really combine their cultures, but I can’t remember a lot. It was the 70’s and they were the first in their environment who openly were mixed-race, they didn’t know how to combine that I believe.
I have been a professional artist (dancer, singer, actress) for over 20 years, starting in the late eighties early nighties and when I had to audition it was always a struggle to find a part for me. They wanted to put me in a box. Are you white or are black? And most of the time they said just go for the Latina parts then you will have the most success. So, I did. I had lots of success being a chameleon. Later in the zero’s it didn’t change much either. When I was filling in the questionnaire for casting agency’s I never could find my boxes such as, eye colour, hair, race, background. I had to choose between boxes that were neither one of me. It really made me angry and sad.
I believe my environment plays a part in how I choose my friends/partners now with online dating/ social media I can choose in other ways but still it’ difficult to find ‘my people’ but maybe that is difficult for everyone. I don’t know
Positive experiences are that I can move like a chameleon (sometimes it is really convenient). Also, I can belong everywhere If I act in a certain way. So still being myself and acting like a chameleon can be a good thing. Also now as I am getting older I like my looks a lot, I like my hair and most parts of my strong body which is powerful & curvy.
If I had the opportunity to be born again I would be me but then from the start already in line with both sides of my background, so I could develop a strong vision about it. From a physical point of view maybe a little thicker hair, bigger curls & thinner legs. As a profession I would start my carrier as a journalist with 1 subject to focus on and use my background as my strength to tell beautiful, true stories.