I. KOTIN, (Saint Petersburg)
The Hague is an unusual city that has become a multicultural metropolis. Much of it is surprising and unexpected, different from other cities in the Netherlands and at the same time interconnected with them.
As the headquarters of the Dutch counts, The Hague has been known since the 13th century, but only in the 18th century the" Count's Castle " - "Grafenhage" - received the status of a city. The dispute between the cities of Delft, Dordrecht and Leiden for primacy in the Union of the northern Provinces of the Netherlands made The Hague a compromise center of power, where ministries and embassies of the half - world were located near the residence of stadtholders, and then kings, but the Dutch Constitution assigns the status of the capital to Amsterdam.
Delft and Amsterdam established a powerful navy and colonial empire in Southeast Asia, but it is The Hague that is called the "Indian (East India) Widow" because of the abundance of names that recall the former "Netherlands India" (modern Indonesia). The Hague also hosted the largest group of Hindustans, descendants of Indian indentured labourers born in Dutch Guiana (Suriname).
Suriname belonged to the Netherlands, which later than other European countries (1863) abolished slavery and felt the need for cheap hired labor. In 1872, a Dutch agent arrived in Calcutta. He received permission from the British authorities to recruit workers only in the United Provinces and Bihar, i.e., in the lands known as Hindustan (hence the self - designation of Surinamese Indians-Hindustans).
In 1873, the ship Lalla Rook arrived in Suriname, bringing the first batch of 339 Indian workers to the Dutch colony. In the same year, four more vessels delivered human cargo from India - 2,449 people (1,503 men, 556 women and 390 children). The conditions of labor on the plantations were so severe and the death rate so high that the British authorities soon banned the importation of labor into Dutch Guiana, allowin ... Read more