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Open Access The position and residential patterns of ethnic groups in Paramaribo’s development in the twentieth century

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The position and residential patterns of ethnic groups in Paramaribo’s development in the twentieth century

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image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

Analyses ethnic residential patterns, in terms of spatial segregation, in Paramaribo, as these developed historically, and their correlation to the changing socioeconomic position of the various ethnic groups. Authors first point out how Paramaribo is at present one of the most multiethnic and multicultural cities of the Caribbean, and discuss the continuing importance of ethnic identity and boundaries. They further describe the history of Paramaribo's development since the period of slavery and after abolition, when many Creoles migrated to the city. Hindustani started migrating in higher numbers to Paramaribo since the early 20th c., mainly to the urban periphery, and since the 1960s also more Javanese. More recently (since the 1980s) migrants to Paramaribo include Maroons, Amerindians, Chinese, and Brazilians. Authors examine in how far the residential patterns were determined by socioeconomic factors, and/or by ethnicity. They conclude that socioeconomic factors have overall become more influential in residential patterns than ethnicity. They point out that residential ethnic mixing has increased, as almost half of Paramaribo's neighbourhoods are mixed, with no dominant ethnic group, although some ethnic concentration continues, as a quarter of the neighbourhoods can be called Creole, one-fifth of them Hindustani, and Creoles (and Maroons) reside for a higher percentage in the city centre, and Hindustani and Javanese more in the urban periphery.

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