Dutch | Surinamese

I identify myself as Dutch & Surinamese, heterosexual and male. My Mum is from Suriname and my Dad is from Holland. They met in Suisse. I grew up in Beverwijk, The Netherlands.

I recognised I was mixed-race while growing up with friends at school. My Mum was more the lead combining cultures. She always spoke Dutch with me and my brother but with the food and traditions we also found a lot the Suriname culture in the way she brought us up. I wasn’t however taught to speak the Surinamese language.

Challenges for me were to see differences in taste and preferences in comparison to friends with just a Dutch background. I see having more culture backgrounds as a rich base for a strong personality and a way to empathise with different people and situations.

Everything is an influence when choosing friends or partners. I came to Amsterdam because I think there are more people here that have similar ideas and point of views on how I look at life.

I think being mixed-race has an effect on the way you connect to different people. In my field of work there is a lot of diversity in creators and we constantly try to create real life on screen which means these different filmmakers are looking for a genuine diversity on screen which feels natural.

I like to think that I connect with both cultures equally, but because I don’t speak the Suriname language I sometimes do understand everything, but I do understand and sometimes better connect with the Suriname way of thinking.

When people ask, ‘where are you from?’ I only answer that I come from Amsterdam.

A positive experience is the feeling you can easily connect and understand people from different backgrounds. I think that a lot of the problems in the world come from a feeling of misunderstanding other people.

I think it is a privilege to have an understanding of different cultures. It helps to live abroad for a longer time but to have the ‘Homecoming’ feeling in different countries is a strong feeling you can’t explain to someone that is not mixed.

If I had the opportunity to be born again I would like to try another mix.