Keti Koti: 150 years free from slavery

On July 1, 2023 this year, for the first time in Haarlem, Keti Koti, the abolition of slavery about 150 years ago, will be celebrated. Traces of slavery as well as colonialism can still be found in our city.

Keti Koti

The words “keti koti” come from Sranan Tongo (Surinamese). The translation is “chains broken. Slavery in Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles, which were then Dutch colonies, ended about 150 years ago.

Colonial Haarlem

Haarlem played a role in Dutch colonialism in various ways. From shareholders of slave plantations to people of color who lived here in the Golden Age. Also, many of the magnificent country estates in and around Haarlem have colonial connections.

Koloniaal Haarlem, a platform of organizations from our city, is organizing all kinds of activities, such as a lecture on Haarlemmers and slavery in Schuur. There are also city walks where, together with a guide, you will discover the colonial traces of Haarlem. You can find more information about these activities on the website of Koloniaal Haarlem.



Today Saturday, July 1, 2023, in Haarlem we celebrate Keti Koti for the first time, the day the Netherlands abolished slavery. This painful history has also left traces in our city. Behind buildings and façade stones in Haarlem are sometimes stories full of suffering. It will be a day of remembering but also a day with, music, speakers, workshop, inspiring stories and Surinamese and Curaçao snacks. For instance from 3 p.m. at the Frans Hals Museum, Groot Heiligland 62. There will also be guided tours of the museum.