WELCOME TO SURINAM. OUR VILLAGE. OUR PRIDE. – Dr Bhugun’s book is a tool for reference


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Dr Dharam Bhugun, presently established in Gold Coast, Australia, is a Mauritian born in Surinam, the village located at the southern tip of the island of Mauritius.

In an endeavour to pay tribute to, and express his unconditional love for, his birthplace, he has produced a masterpiece entitled after the caption above. He left the shores of the island in 1987 and is currently practising as academic, researcher, writer and in other capacities, too, in Australia.

This book is a gem in terms of content treatment of the rich paraphernalia of themes inherent to the lovely rural area, the iconic people, places and events very intimately connected to the locality.

In a clear, forceful, persuasive language, the narratives have been crafted. The elements constituting the narratives have been so finely and wonderfully portrayed that they make easy reading from cover to cover.

The snaps, charts and figures mirror the harnessing of visuals and the narration of the smooth, flowing texts testifying to the masterly stroke of the pen of Dr Bhugun.

The awesome piece of work warranting a span of close on two years of unstinted labour, unyielding patience and resolve, selfless commitment and love has proved to be an amazing, fabulous output.

It is also worth stating that Dr Bhugun embarked on this project further to the express request of certain residents of Surinam. Hence, he conceptualised the task and envisioned the process required to bring to fruition the contemplated dream.

Bearing in mind the amount of labour to be invested, without minding the impending cost incurred to be finally defrayed, he contacted friends, villagers, elders, contemporaries – local, national, international – to collaborate in order to harness their resources to garner information and knowledge, data and visuals from libraries, archives and personal collections.

As a skilled academic and adept researcher with cutting-edge competence, he personally fished for invaluable, reliable, documented information from the repositories, especially for painting the historical aspects like indentured labour, settlement, migration, events and people, in short, the whole gamut of issues.

The methodology adopted by Dr Bhugun in building up the rich and precious narratives is evidence enough of his extensive experience as university academic.

A qualitative research approach, incorporating a purposive sampling technique, inclusive of criterion-referencing and snowballing, is another justification and asset applied to attain the end in view. His socio-constructivist epistemology has rendered possible the focus on the construction of reality, meaningfulness within the bounds of a contextual environment, verily the history of Surinam, its development and evolutionary dimension too.

The perceptions of ‘credibility, confirmability, dependability and transferability’ as expounded by Lincoln and Guba (1985) are obvious in the information-gathering exercise and the style adopted therein, as well as the final write-up.

Dr Bhugun’s book is a tool for reference for future researchers, academics, students, all and sundry, in a nutshell. For those hell-bent on acquiring historical information, the book will prove very useful and handy. The author has, in an emphatic fashion, placed Surinam and the Republic of Mauritius on the world-map, for sure!

It is a ‘must-read’ book as it depicts crystal-clearly the history and topography of the village, along with its anthropological, political, social, cultural, economic, commercial and structural development and evolution.

Many of the pre-eminent personalities, key places and momentous events associated in an intrinsic manner with the village are also showcased in a lucid style. The interesting and the inspiring, the weird and the bizarre, all find their specific places in the adequate contexts.

The book is a first of its kind as it furnishes original, comprehensive literature about the village and the adjacent environment wherever the latter is warranted for tie-up. The key dynamics and main triggers point to the demographic landscape, settlement and progress achieved by indentured labourers and their descendants, the multiracial and broad-based Surinamian society, the uplift of the village and the achievements of the inhabitants. The latter comprise volunteer participants who had and have been scaling great heights in their personal and professional lives.

It is obvious that the objectives set by the writer have been successfully achieved. They englobe elements in connection with educational resources and stuff for multiple levels and types of education on a national level. Data on political, social, cultural, economic and infrastructural levels are available for both private and public sectors.

Besides, the book may well serve local, national, and, particularly, international tourists teeming in the island of Mauritius. We are nowadays achieving an unprecedented record number of tourists.

This piece of work will undeniably prove to be quintessential for present and future generations in their quest for information in connection with the inception, the progress and the development of the village.

The author has foregrounded the roles and functions of inhabitants of residents of Surinam on a planetary scale. Notable people like Dwarika Fakun and brothers, Jairaj Luchowa and brothers, Dr Rajen Vurdien, Kaviraj Appadu, Vijay Ram and other high-calibre intellectuals and professionals in various domains have been mentioned and duly highlighted. Such people constitute the pride of the village of Surinam. They are or were the elites of Surinam scattered across the world whereby they contribute to serve the international community with honour and dignity. They are the shining stars in the firmament, but they have not forgotten their roots, Surinam.

I fervently wish all readers, historians, researchers and the whole strata of professionals and non-professionals, happy, pleasant, smooth and fructifying read!


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