A couple of weeks ago I was sent this song, written and sung by Surinamese physician Ruben del Prado. It’s called Grantangi. This is the Sranan word for saying both thank you, and please. He wrote this song as an ode to everybody working on the front-line of the COVID response team. This would include all healthcare workers of course, but also the hospital kitchen staff and the security guards. Basically everybody who didn’t have the luxury and freedom to work from home, but had to go out there in the middle of this pandemic, risking their own lives for the greater good.

The lyrics are mostly in English, but there are also parts sung in Sarnami Hindi, Samaaka, Spanish and other spoken languages in Suriname. The part that got to me the most was the part where he said that these front-liners go out to serve, but are rewarded so much less than they deserve. I couldn’t agree more.

To all the frontliners I say, grantangi! Thank you!

Source: Ruben F del Prado: “Grantangi.” The way to say “thank you” and “please” in Sranan Tongo, Dek’ati International NV, youtube. From the description box: This song was inspired by the people working on the front-line of the COVID-19 response in Suriname. They are our health-heroes, and we thank them. It is important that we play our part, by keeping safe and staying healthy.

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