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July 1, is the Emancipation Day (end of slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...
) in Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...
Slavery was abolished by the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...
in Suriname in 1863. However, slaves in Suriname would not be fully free until 1873, after a mandatory 10 year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for minimal pay and without state sanctioned torture. After 1873 many slaves left the plantations where they had suffered for several generations, in favor of the city of Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...
. In 2009 several cities in the Netherlands hosted various activities, making this day a day of national celebration and remembrance throughout the country.