“Home is where the heart is” is the story of founder Chantal Kartaram. She tells about making memories and her love for her motherland Suriname. Curious? Keep reading!
I was only 2 years old when I left Suriname. An age where you would think memories could not have been formed yet. But from the moment I set foot back on Suriname soil, I knew otherwise. Because how else could I feel this unexplainable feeling of belonging? A feeling that must have come from those early years.
Or maybe it was because Suriname has always played a big role in our household, as if she was an extra person that was always brought with, wherever we were…
Growing up in Amsterdam, my parents made sure that I was made conscious of my origins and roots. I guess their own longing for the motherland made them keep the memories alive, from cooking all those wonderful Suriname dishes to knowing every word of every Suripop song ever produced. Always telling nostalgic stories of this much-loved past in a country we didn’t know.
And then I made my own first memories of Suriname, when we visited this mystical motherland during school vacations. Now adding my own images and scents and sounds to the stories told by others. Now I owned my own piece of this country.
These holidays were so intense, taking in every second. Wanting to make it last as long as possible. So back in our other home away from home, we could re-live the Suriname way of life.
We would look at all the holiday pictures, we would eat those banana chips that we brought back, our clothes would still smell like Suriname. But then after 2 weeks, maybe a month, the smell, the taste and everything tangible would fade.
How I have struggled with this nostalgia and my two identities, my Suriname roots and my acquired Dutch self. Not really belonging here, but also not really belonging there.
“I have been divided into two pieces like two souls in one body.” is how I felt for the longest time. Only now I am beginning to see the beauty in having two places in this world I can call home.
– Chantal Kartaram
Want to see the beauty that Chantal sees in Suriname?
Be sure to check out the works of our photographers in the +597 shop. These works are personally handpicked by Chantal Kartaram. For example the picture used for this blogpost is made by photographer Harvey Lisse. This is just one of the many unique works you can find in our shop.