- Category: PA 2006
Shrinivási was born in 1926 in Suriname , and is the pseudonym of Marinus Lutchman. The name means 'noble inhabitant of Suriname '. Shrinivasi worked as an educator and started publishing in the fifties. Although most of his published work was in Dutch, he also published in Hindi and Sarnami – the languages of the Surinamese Hindustani community. Growing up in a rural community instilled in him a love of nature, and a respect for hard-working people.
Being in a country where people from all continents and diverse religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam) lived together, also contributed to his development as a poet and person. His inspiration stems from his youth, culture and the religion in which he was born and educated in: “There were no ethnical or religious barriers between our house and other people. From my youth, my life was enriched by the intermingling of all these influences.”
Shrinivási's first collection of poems, Anjali was published in 1963. This was followed by: Pratikshá (1968), Dilákár (1970), Om de zon , 1972, Oog in oog (1974), Vrijgevig als altijd (1977), and Als ik mijn land betreed (1980). An anthology of his poetry was published as Een weinig van het andere (In de Knipscheer, 1984). He also edited an anthology of Surinamese poetry Wortoe d'e tan abra (1974).
His poetry articulates what he believes that the Surinamese people should do to work towards national unity, but is also contemplative and mystical. This aspect of his poetry found its peak in his latest, highly praised collection of poems Sangam (1991). Shrinivási won several prizes for his work, and was awarded including the Surinamese National Award for Literature.
He says: “The world needs poetry: poets are the ones who have the courage to reveal right and wrong in society, and have the gift to console and encourage their fellow-villagers of this world towards togetherness.”
Shrinivasi forms part of the Winternachtencontingent.