UG commemmorates slavery past with wreath-laying

Rector Cisca Wijmenga will lay a wreath on behalf of the UG at the Ossenmarkt on Friday, June 30, the commemoration day of the Dutch slavery past. It is the first time that the municipality of Groningen holds an official commemoration.

During the ceremony, which takes place between five and half-past five in the afternoon, two minutes of silence will also be observed to remember the victims of the transatlantic slave trade.

‘This is the first time we have been invited to Keti Koti, and we hope that this moment of commemoration and reflection will create more awareness of this painful period in our history’, says UG spokesperson Elies Kouwenhoven.

Abolition of slavery

Keti Koti, celebrated annually on July 1, is a Surinamese holiday originally commemorating the abolition of slavery. Hundreds of thousands of people were transported from Africa to Suriname and the Caribbean between 1621 and 1863 to work forcibly on plantations, in factories, or in people’s homes.

The commemoration of the victims on June 30 is also becoming increasingly important in the Netherlands. King Willem-Alexander will deliver a speech at the commemoration in Amsterdam this year, and it is expected that he will offer his apologies for the slavery past.


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