Toko, that doesn't sound Dutch
Actually, toko [ˈtoˑko]
is a Dutch word since the 1860s. It's origins are Malayan and Javanese, two languages from Indonesia, then a Dutch colony. In publications on trade-types in the Dutch Indies some decades earlier the word was first mentioned, with the meaning of a type of shop, often Chinese owned, merely a warehouse with a lot of different stuff for sale. How the word entered those two languages is vague. Some 19th century linguists ascribed it to a Chinese/Cantonese description of underground storage rooms, that were common from 15th century Java; some guessed it might have derived from Javanese toekoe [ˈtuku]
, which means 'to buy', probably mixed with Dutch 'huis' to state the shop. Regionally toekoe might be pronounced [ˈtɔˑkʊ]
, so hence some Europeans' ear's confusion? We'll never know for sure.
Late 19th century toko was used in Dutch advertising for shops.
In current Dutch 'toko' is used as a more-or-less official word for oriental and camp-shops, more informal for business or shops in general, bars, to even a department that's run a bit different in organisations or government.
we're the real thing
Just take a look in our shop window and a peek inside. Toko Kai Hing is the kind of shop that sells about everything, though we keep to food, household, health and beauty related stock.
The Surinamese word Omoe [ˈoˑmu]
means both 'uncle' and Chinese shopkeeper. And that's our trade: a mix of Surinamese and oriental specialities, herbs and spices. Imported or Dutch produced; quality is our leading criterium to select a brand. Our chefs deliver nice prepared food, from snacks and luncheon rolls to full Surinam-Chinese meals. A shop where you and your fellow customers feel part of the family.
Toko Kai Hing was the first shop to open in Ganzenhoef shopping center in 1975. That makes us the oldest still existing toko for the South-Eastern quarters of Amsterdam.
Looks slowly change from the traditional warehouse to somewhat more contemporary spheres, though.