Diasporic Indians in The Netherlands


NRI/PIO - In The Netherlands

Den Haag
Sarnámi Huis
Brouwersgracht 2
2512 ER Den Haag
Tel:070- 365 1828

Postal address:
Post Box 10666
2501 HR Den Haag

The 'Sarnámi Huis' is the home of Hindustani culture (the culture of the immigrants whose forefathers left India as indenture labourers and migrated to Surinam) and the Sarnámi language (spoken in Surinam by the PIO's). Sarnami House is a museum cum documentation centre. It is a center devoted to the immigration history, language and culture of the Dutch Indian immigrants from Surinam.

It also functions as a museum where all kinds of artifacts are exhibited from the period of the immigration into the Kingdom (1870 - 1930). From the outside, Sarnami House is indistinguishable from the other buildings on the street. Inside is a rare ambience. Immaculately preserved artifacts — old manuscripts, photographs, clothes, tools and utensils — tell the fascinating story of a double displacement, or a double homecoming. This is the story of the Surinami Indians in the Netherlands — about 160,000 in a country of 16 million. Almost ten per cent of the population of The Hague are PIOs - "People of Indian Origin" who all come from the former Dutch Guyana, now called Surinam.

Sarnámi Huis was opened on 17-02-2006 and is a documentation centre cum museum. The aim of the Sarnámi House is to become the treasure house of the Hindustani heritage & culture and the Sarnami language. Special attention is paid to different aspects of the Hindustani community living in the Netherlands in relation to their assimilation in the Dutch community.

With 500 square meters, the Sarnami House provides space for a museum, library, internet connection, conference rooms as well as administration and management offices. It has six rooms for exhibitions.

One room is specially arranged as a typical Hindustani residence. In the basement there are also two large exhibition halls for temporary exhibitions.

Until now the history, language and culture of the Hindustanen has been insufficiently brought forward and preserved. The Sarnami House, now provides a place where information on the Dutch Indian immigrants is correctly presented in an approachable manner. It also a meeting place between Dutch Indians and the citizens of the Netherlands.

For morre information, please visit the following link (8,75mb pdf file)

PS: For extra information see the Dutch text.

Images - courtesy of Sarnamihuis.