Children’s Book Festival, We Have Arrived

Steven Leeflang
Monday, March 23, 2015

On March 23, 2015, the Children’s Book Festival launched in Suriname’s capital city of Paramaribo. At 8:30 a.m., ACT’s Katia Delvoye received the first group of students for “A Journey to South Suriname”—an interactive experience in which students learn about the traditional knowledge of the indigenous and tribal communities of their nation’s rainforest interior.

Katia Delvoye engaged with the first group of students. Click to enlarge

“The students immediately grasped the subject,” Katia said. “When I asked questions, the entire class would sometimes give an answer. For example, I asked where the people from the village must get their medicine, and I immediately received a deafening response: ‘The forest!’”

To illustrate the lesson, Katia utilized many different and colorful supporting materials, including a bow and arrow, a fish trap, a cassava press, a cassava sieve, Brazil nuts, a traditional bamboo flute, marakas, calabashes, and traditional jewelry.

Wuta, a storyteller and botanist of the Trio people, dressed in native clothing and played an indigenous bamboo flute, while ACT’s Xanegay Sabajo read from “De Leerling van de Sjamaan” (The Shaman’s Apprentice) at the Children’s Book Festival. The students appeared spellbound and were silent throughout the entire story.  During the event, approximately 180 students will visit ACT’s booth daily.

Dutch version can be read on the ACT Suriname website.