Cynthia and Family – Belema Gaji Pardiswa
From Cynthia and Family – Let’s Dance
Released on Wandana Records, Netherlands

Even if you have a great knowledge of modern history, you can still be surprise on how records digging sometimes makes you aware in a very striking way of the complexity of migratory and colonial history. For example, it’s amazing to  realize that you will mostly find Surinamese records in the Netherlands and also that some of these records sounds really similar to some Indian records… these are no coincidences !

This is the case of Cynthia and Family‘s Let’s Dance, an album which highlights both the fact that Surinam was a Dutch colony (till 1975) by being released on a Dutch label and the fact that Surinam people were exposed to Hindustani culture, as colonists brought many Hindustani worker to Surinam after the abolition of slavery.

Cynthia is the daughter of Shri Thakurpersad and Ronny Bhikharie, as well as the couple’s voice (as all the songs sung by Cynthia were composed and arranged by her family – hence the title Cynthia and Family). The couple might be well known amongst Surinamese music fans, as they’ve been very prolific in the 1970’s and 1980’s, writing and producing many great Surinamese albums. Let’s Dance is one of the many records on which Cynthia sings the song of its family.

Belema Gaji Pardiswa, like some of the best songs from the Bhikharie family, has got a very rich melody, backed by some traditional (and India-related) percussions and, of course, played on super heavy synths. This (musically and historically) beautiful song is a moving testimony of a little-known side of the history of globalisation…

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