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These Facts About Suriname Will Inspire You to Pack Your Bags

Facts About Suriname
While it is the smallest independent country in South America, Suriname has a vast treasure of culture, food, history, and more. Vacayholics explores all about this country, complied as the facts about Suriname.
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Dec 09, 2017
Quick Fact
Suriname has only two major seasons―rainy and dry.
When exploring countries, we generally have an assumption that the smaller the country, more compact is its history and culture. However, this does not hold true for this South American country―Suriname. It has a rich history, and diverse flora and fauna; with most of the land covered in tropical rain forest. We have compiled some more interesting facts about this beautiful country in the following sections. Take a look.
Geography
▶ Suriname is situated in the north of the South American continent, with a total area of 163,265 square kilometers (63,037 miles). It is flanked by Guyana to the west and French Guyana to the east. It shares its southern border with Brazil.
suriname map
▶ The population of this country is 447,000, with inhabitants residing mainly in the northern coastal areas. Both by area and population, Suriname is the smallest sovereign country in South America.
▶ The largest cities in Suriname are Paramaribo, Lelydorp, and Nieuw Nickerie. Paramaribo is the capital of Suriname.
▶ The Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge is one of the important landmarks in Suriname. This bridge is located on the Suriname river. The height of this bridge is 52 meters ( 171 feet) and is 1,504 meters (4,934 feet) long. The construction of this bridge was completed in the year 2000. Another great landmark is the 114-year-old St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
▶ More than 80 percent of this country is covered in tropical rain forests. The highest point is Juliana Top at a height of 1,230 meters. The lowest point being an unnamed location in the coastal plain at -2 meters.
▶ The climate of Suriname is hot, humid, and tropical, due to its proximity to the Equator. Suriname has only two seasons; dry and rainy. The environment is tropical, moderated with strong winds. The average temperature varies between 21 to 32 degree Celsius.
▶ Suriname has a terrain with mostly rolling hills, with narrow coastal plains, and swamps.
▶ This country is blessed with abundant beauty of nature. There are many national parks that display this beauty. Suriname also has two locations listed as World Heritage sites; the historic Inner City of Paramaribo and the Central Suriname Nature Reserve. These are listed for their unspoiled beauty.
History
▶ The official name of this country is 'Republic of Suriname'. This country was also formerly known as Dutch Guiana or Netherlands Guiana.
▶ It was first believed to have been inhabited by Surinen Indians. Later, this country was discovered by Spaniards, in 1593. By the mid 17th century, Suriname was colonized by the English and the Dutch.
▶ Most people are the descendants of African slaves, and Indian workers, who were brought there to work on coffee and sugarcane plantations. By 1863, slavery was abolished in Suriname. After this, slave labor, was replaced by indentured labor, with workers from India and Indonesia.
▶ The country gained independence on 25th November 1975, from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. After five years, the civilian government was replaced by a military regime, which declared it a social republic. Suriname now follows the system of a democratic republic. In 1987, due to international pressure, a democratic election was forced.
▶ November 25th is celebrated as the national day of Suriname.
▶ In 1991, a democratically elected government, finally came into power, with a four-party coalition. By 2005, the coalition expanded to 8 parties.
▶ The country is now divided into 10 administrative districts. Each is governed by the district commissioner appointed by the President of Suriname.
Culture
▶ Major religions practiced in Suriname are Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, and Protestantism.
▶ It is believed that the 'Maroons'; people of Suriname who escaped slavery and formed their own tribal groups, deep in the jungles of Suriname, are the largest group of slave descendants in the world.
▶ Though slavery was officially abolished in 1863, there still are certain tribes of the 'Maroons', mainly Ndyuka, Saramaka, Paramaka, Kwinti, Aluku, and Matawai.
▶ Among all South American countries, Suriname is the only country whose official language is Dutch, and also the only country with Dutch language spoken on a wide scale. Other languages spoken in Suriname are Sranan Tongo, Malay, Hindi, English, Sarnami, Javanese, Bhojpuri, Hakka, etc.
Economy
▶ Major exports of Suriname are, alumina, rice, shrimp, fish, crude oil, timber, bauxite, and gold. Bauxite export is perhaps the biggest source of income for the economy of Suriname.
▶ The official currency in Suriname is the Surinamese dollar.
▶ Literacy rate in Suriname, according to the statistics by UNICEF, is 91 percent approx.
▶ One of the major universities in Suriname is Anton de Kom.
All these facts definitely make Suriname a must-visit destination, especially for nature lovers, where this beautiful country treats you to a tropical paradise!