Universiteit Leiden

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Diner | Dialoog

Keti Koti Table

Tuesday 12 September 2023
Oude Singel 32
2312RA Leiden

A special Keti Koti year!

This year is the 160th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Antilles by the Netherlands: 'Keti Koti' means 'chains broken'. Since this was followed by another decade of compulsory labor 'under state supervision,' it has only been 150 years since the enslaved were actually set free. The celebration of these milestones was given added significance by the apologies for the Dutch government’s role in slave trade and slavery and its consequences offered by the Prime Minister last December. The University of Leiden and municipality of Leiden deem it important to pay attention to this fraught and shared history.

What is the Keti Koti Table?

The Keti Koti Dialogue Table is a new tradition developed to discuss our shared colonial and slavery past and its consequences to this day. More than 150 organizations and 30,000 people at home and abroad have since participated. Participants exchange personal experiences, emotions and insights according to a specifically developed method. During this dialogue, three questions are answered around a theme that was determined for this meeting. The theme we have chosen for our table is: Who were you, who are you and who do you want to be?

What happens during the Keti Koti Table?

During the dialogue, a communal meal is eaten, recalling the slavery past. At the beginning and at the end, some rituals are performed that refer to slavery. Between conversations, the Fri Yeye choir will sing songs of mourning and liberation that were sung on the plantations at the time of slavery. With this dialogue meeting, we as University of Leiden and city of Leiden  together with the Keti Koti Table Foundation want to contribute to fighting prejudice and discrimination and strengthening mutual empathy and compassion. If you would like to learn more about the Keti Koti Table please visit the website.

Extra information

Since Keti Koti is an important part of Dutch history, the language used for the plenary program will be Dutch, but translation will be provided where needed. The dialogue on an individual level can be conducted both in Dutch and English. If you need translation, please send us an email.


This special Keti Koti Table is offered to you by the municipality of Leiden and Leiden University in cooperation with the Keti Koti Table Foundation. To register for the event, use the form below.

Registration form
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