Background: Intentional self-poisoning with pesticides is a serious problem in many developing countries. It is a commonly used method among South Asians all over the world. Aims: To describe the circumstances and characteristics of suicides in Nickerie, Suriname, in order to gain insight into why South Asians commonly use self-poisoning. Methods: An exploratory psychological autopsy study was conducted among 19 survivors of 13 suicides in the Nickerie district in Suriname. Results: Impulsivity plays an important role in self-poisonings, as well as aggression and easy accessibility of pesticides. Conclusions: Possible answers to the question why South Asians often use self-poisoning as a method for suicide may be found in culture, upbringing, styles of communication and genetics. However, more research is needed to further explore these hypotheses. © 2009 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers.