Suriname
Overview
 
Suriname officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It borders French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

 to the east, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 to the west, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as Dutch Guiana
Dutch Guiana
Dutch Guiana, also known as Netherlands Guyana or Dutch Guyana , is the name given to various Dutch colonies on the northern coast of South America, created by the Dutch West India Company...

. Suriname achieved independence from the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 on 25 November 1975.

At just under 165000 km² (63,706.9 sq mi) Suriname is the smallest sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 state in South America (French Guyana comprises less territory, but is French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 territory).
Encyclopedia
Suriname officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. It borders French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

 to the east, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 to the west, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as Dutch Guiana
Dutch Guiana
Dutch Guiana, also known as Netherlands Guyana or Dutch Guyana , is the name given to various Dutch colonies on the northern coast of South America, created by the Dutch West India Company...

. Suriname achieved independence from the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 on 25 November 1975.

At just under 165000 km² (63,706.9 sq mi) Suriname is the smallest sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 state in South America (French Guyana comprises less territory, but is French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 territory). It has an estimated population of approximately 490,000, most of whom live on the country's north coast, where the capital Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

 is located.

Etymology

The name Suriname may derive from a Taino
Taíno people
The Taínos were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. It is thought that the seafaring Taínos are relatives of the Arawak people of South America...

 (Arawak
Arawak language
Arawak is the eponymous language of the Arawakan language family. The term is often used to cover the closely related Taino language of the Caribbean islands. The ethnonym Lokono may be used more specifically....

-speaking) group called "Surinen" who first inhabited the region prior to European arrival.

Originally, the country was spelled Surinam by English settlers who founded the first colony at Marshall's Creek, along the Suriname River
Suriname River
The Suriname River is 480 km long and flows through the country Suriname. Its sources are located in the Guiana Highlands on the border between the Wilhelmina Mountains and the Eilerts de Haan Mountains...

, and was part of a group of colonies known as Dutch Guiana
Dutch Guiana
Dutch Guiana, also known as Netherlands Guyana or Dutch Guyana , is the name given to various Dutch colonies on the northern coast of South America, created by the Dutch West India Company...

. Surinam can still be found in English. A notable example of this is Suriname's own national airline, Surinam Airways
Surinam Airways
Surinam Airways is the national airline of Suriname, based in Paramaribo. It operates regional and long-haul scheduled passenger services. Its hub is at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport.On 16 September 2008, Surinam Airways had 400 employees....

. The older English name is reflected in the English pronunciation, ˈ or /ˈsʊrɨnɑːm/. In Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, the official language of Suriname, the pronunciation is ˌsyriˈnaːmə, with the main stress on the third syllable and and a lengthened 'ee' sound.

Geography

Suriname is the smallest independent country in South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. Situated on the Guiana Shield, it mostly lies between latitudes
1st parallel north
The 1st parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 1 degree north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 6°N
6th parallel north
The 6th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 6 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, South America and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 54°
54th meridian west
The meridian 54° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Newfoundland, the Atlantic Ocean, South America, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 58°W
58th meridian west
The meridian 58° west of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, North America, the Atlantic Ocean, South America, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. The country can be divided into two main geographic regions. The northern, lowland coastal area (roughly above the line Albina-Paranam-Wageningen) has been cultivated, and most of the population lives here. The southern part consists of tropical rainforest
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

 and sparsely inhabited savanna
Savanna
A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses.Some...

 along the border
Border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

 with Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, covering about 80% of Suriname's land surface.

There are two main mountain ranges: the Bakhuys Mountains and the Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains
Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains
The Van Asch Van Wijck Mountains are a mountain range in Suriname. The mountains are connected to the Tumuc-Humac Mountains along the Surinamese border with Brazil. They are named after Titus van Asch van Wijck, a governor of Suriname....

. Julianatop
Julianatop
Julianatop is the highest mountain in Suriname at . It is located in the Sipaliwini District.-External links:* from ....

 is the highest mountain in the country at 1286 metres (4,219.2 ft) above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. Other mountains include Tafelberg at 1026 metres (3,366.1 ft), Mount Kasikasima at 718 metres (2,355.6 ft), Goliathberg at 358 metres (1,174.5 ft) and Voltzberg at 240 metres (787.4 ft).

Borders

Suriname is situated between French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

 to the east and Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 to the west. The southern border is shared with Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and the northern border is the Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 coast. The southernmost borders with French Guiana and Guyana are disputed along the Marowijne
Maroni River
The Maroni or Marowijne is a river in South America. It originates in the Tumuk Humak Mountains and forms the border between French Guiana and Suriname...

 and Corantijn
Courantyne River
The Corentyne / Courantyne / Corantijn River is a river in northern South America in the country of Suriname, it is the longest river in the state. The river originates in the Acarai Mountains and flows northward for approximately between Guyana and Suriname, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean near...

 rivers, respectively, while a part of the disputed maritime boundary
Maritime boundary
Maritime boundary is a conceptual means of division of the water surface of the planet into maritime areas that are defined through surrounding physical geography or by human geography. As such it usually includes areas of exclusive national rights over the mineral and biological resources,...

 with Guyana was arbitrated by a tribunal convened under the rules set out in Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea , which took place from 1973 through 1982...

 on 20 September 2007.

Districts and resorts

Suriname is divided into ten district
District
Districts are a type of administrative division, in some countries managed by a local government. They vary greatly in size, spanning entire regions or counties, several municipalities, or subdivisions of municipalities.-Austria:...

s:

Suriname is further subdivided into 62 resorts (ressorten).

Climate

Lying 2
2nd parallel north
The 2nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 2 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 to 5 degrees north
5th parallel north
The 5th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 5 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 of the equator
Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

, Suriname has a very hot tropical climate
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

, and temperatures do not vary much throughout the year. Its average temperature ranges from 21 to 32 degrees Celsius. The year has two wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

s, from April to August and from November to February. It also has two dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

s, from August to November and February to April.

Nature reserves

In the upper Coppename River
Coppename River
The Coppename is a river in Suriname in the district of Sipaliwini, forming part of the boundary between the districts of Coronie and Saramacca.-Course:The Coppename river begins in the Wilhelmina Mountains...

 watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

, the Central Suriname Nature Reserve
Central Suriname Nature Reserve
The Central Suriname Nature Reserve was created in 1998 by Conservation International and the government of Suriname. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its pristine tropical rainforest ecosystem, and contains 16,000 square kilometres of both montane and lowland primary...

 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 cited for its unspoiled rainforest biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

. There are many national parks in the country: Galibi National Reserve, Coppename Manding National Park and Wia Wia NR along the coast, Brownsberg NR, Raleighvallen/Voltzeberg NR, Tafelberg NR and Eilerts de Haan NP in the centre and the Sipaliwani NR on the Brazilian border. In all, 12.6% of the country's land area are national parks and lakes, according to the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Colonial period

Beginning in the 16th century, French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, and English
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 explorers visited the area. A century later, plantation
Plantation
A plantation is a long artificially established forest, farm or estate, where crops are grown for sale, often in distant markets rather than for local on-site consumption...

 colonies were established by the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 along the many rivers in the fertile Guyana plains. The earliest documented colony in Guiana
The Guianas
The Guyanas or the Guianas refers to a region in north-eastern South America which includes the following three territories:* French Guiana, an overseas department of France;...

 was along the Suriname River and called Marshall's Creek. The area was named after an Englishman. Disputes arose between the Dutch and the English. In 1667, the Dutch decided to keep the nascent plantation colony of Suriname conquered from the English, resulting from the Treaty of Breda. The English were left with New Amsterdam, a small trading post in North America, which later became New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

In 1683, the Society of Suriname
Society of Suriname
The Society of Suriname was a Dutch private company, modelled on the ideas of Jean-Baptiste Colbert and set up on 21 May 1683 to profit from the management and defence of the Dutch Republic's colony of Suriname...

 was founded by the city of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, the Van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck
Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck
Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck was the first governor of Suriname after the establishment of the Society of Suriname in 1683. He was governor from 28 November 1683 until he was murdered on 19 July 1688...

 family, and the Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company was a chartered company of Dutch merchants. Among its founding fathers was Willem Usselincx...

. The society was chartered to manage and defend the colony. The planters of the colony relied heavily on African slaves to cultivate the coffee, cocoa, sugar cane and cotton plantations along the rivers. Treatment of the slaves by their owners was notoriously bad, and many slaves escaped the plantations. With the help of the native South Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 living in the adjoining rain forests, these runaway slaves established a new and unique culture that was highly successful in its own right. Known collectively in English as the Maroons
Maroon (people)
Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

, in French as the Nèg'Marrons and in Dutch as "Bosnegers" (literally meaning "bush negroes"), they actually established several independent tribes, among them the Saramaka
Saramaka
The Saramaka or Saramacca are one of six Maroon peoples in the Republic of Suriname. The word "Maroon" comes from the Spanish cimarrón, itself derived from an Arawakan root; by the early 16th century it was used throughout the Americas to designate slaves who successfully escaped from slavery.-...

, the Paramaka, the Ndyuka or Aukan, the Kwinti
Kwinti
The Kwinti are an ethnic group living in the forested interior of Suriname on the bank of the Coppename River, and the eponymous term for their language, which has less than 1,000 speakers. The language is English-based with Portuguese and other influences. It is similar to the languages spoken by...

, the Aluku
Aluku
The Aluku or Boni is the name of a Maroon ethnic group living mainly on the riverbank in Maripasoula, southwest French Guiana, and the eponymous term for their language, which has more than 5,000 speakers. They are mostly descended from former slaves from Suriname Paramaribo, who escaped and...

 or Boni, and the Matawai.

The Maroons would often raid the plantations to recruit new members, acquire women, weapons, food and supplies. These attacks were often deadly for the planters and their families, and after several unsuccessful campaigns against the Maroons, the European authorities signed several peace treaties with them in the 19th century, granting the Maroons sovereign status and trade rights.

Abolition of slavery

Slavery was abolished by the Netherlands in Suriname in 1863, but the slaves in Suriname were not fully released until 1873, after a mandatory 10 year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for minimal pay and without state sanctioned torture. As soon as they became truly free, the slaves largely abandoned the plantations where they had suffered for several generations, in favour of the city, Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

.

As a plantation colony, Suriname was still heavily dependent on manual labour, and to make up for the shortfall, the Dutch brought in contract labourers from the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 (modern Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

) and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 (through an arrangement with the British). In addition, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, small numbers of mostly men were brought in from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. Although Suriname's population remains relatively small, because of this history it is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse countries in the world.

On 23 November 1941, under an agreement with the Netherlands government-in-exile, the United States occupied Dutch Guiana to protect bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 mines. In 1954, the Dutch placed Suriname under a system of limited self-government, with the Netherlands retaining control of defense and foreign affairs. In 1973, the local government, led by the NPK (a largely Creole
Creole peoples
The term Creole and its cognates in other languages — such as crioulo, criollo, créole, kriolu, criol, kreyol, kreol, kriulo, kriol, krio, etc. — have been applied to people in different countries and epochs, with rather different meanings...

, meaning ethnically African or mixed African-European, party) started negotiations with the Dutch government leading towards full independence, which was granted on 25 November 1975. The severance package was very substantial, and a large part of Suriname's economy for the first decade following independence was fueled by foreign aid provided by the Dutch government.

Independence

The first President of the country was Johan Ferrier
Johan Ferrier
Johan Henri Eliza Ferrier was a Surinamese politician who served as the 1st President of Suriname from November 25, 1975, until August 13, 1980. He was that country's last governor before independence, from 1968 to 1975, and first president after it gained independence from the Netherlands...

, the former governor, with Henck Arron
Henck Arron
Henck Alphonsus Eugène Arron was the Prime Minister of Suriname from 24 December 1973 to 25 February 1980, when he was overthrown in a military coup d'état by Dési Bouterse...

 (the then leader of the Nationale Partij Suriname
National Party of Suriname
The National Party of Suriname is a political party in Suriname, founded in 1946, and currently led by Ronald Venetiaan....

 (Suriname's National Party)) as Prime Minister. Nearly one third of the population of Suriname at that time emigrated to the Netherlands in the years leading up to independence, as many people feared that the new country would fare worse under independence than it did as an overseas colony of the Netherlands. Suriname's diaspora therefore includes more than a quarter of a million people of Suriname origin living in the Netherlands today, including several recent members of the Dutch national football team.

On 25 February 1980, a military coup overthrew the democratic government
1980 Surinamese coup d'état
The Surinamese coup d'état of 1980, usually referred to as the sergeants coup occurred on 25 February, when a group of sergeants of the Surinamese army took control of Suriname's government. The group declared the country to be a Socialist Republic, and stated that they would collectively run the...

 and declared a socialist republic. On 8 December 1982, the military, then under the leadership of Dési Bouterse
Dési Bouterse
Desiré Delano "Dési" Bouterse is the 9th and current President of Suriname.As an army officer, he was the de facto leader of Suriname through most of the 1980s, serving as Chairman of the National Military Council...

, rounded up several prominent citizens who were accused of plotting against the government. They were executed during the night, and the Netherlands quickly suspended all foreign aid to Suriname after this event. Bouterse is currently standing trial for the December murders of 1982, when a number of his political opponents were assassinated, and he has been convicted in absentia
In absentia
In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". In legal use, it usually means a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. The phrase is not ordinarily a mere observation, but suggests recognition of violation to a defendant's right to be present in court proceedings in a criminal trial.In...

 in the Netherlands for drug smuggling. Elections were held in 1987 and a new constitution was adopted, which among other things allowed Bouterse to remain in charge of the army. Dissatisfied with the government, Bouterse summarily dismissed them in 1990, by telephone. This event became popularly known as "the telephone coup". Bouterse's power began to wane after the 1991 elections however, and an ongoing brutal civil war between the Suriname army and the Maroons
Suriname Guerrilla War
The Suriname Guerrilla War was a war in Suriname between 1986 and 1992 which was fought between then-army chief Dési Bouterse and the Jungle Commando of his former bodyguard Ronnie Brunswijk, who originated from the Maroon social group....

 that had begun in 1986, loyal to the rebel leader Ronnie Brunswijk
Ronnie Brunswijk
Ronnie Brunswijk is a Surinamese rebel leader, politician, business man, and convict. After having been the personal body guard of Desi Bouterse in the early 1980s, he turned against his former boss by forming the Jungle Commando which fought the Bouterse regime "on behalf of the Maroon...

, further weakened his position during the 1990s.

Suriname's democracy gained some strength after the turbulent 1990s, and its economy became more diversified and less dependent on Dutch financial assistance. Bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 (aluminium ore) mining continues to be a strong revenue source, but the discovery and exploitation of oil and gold has added substantially to Suriname's economic independence. Agriculture, especially of rice and bananas, remains a strong component of the economy, and ecotourism
Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a form of tourism visiting fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas, intended as a low impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism...

 is providing new economic opportunities. More than 80% of Suriname's land-mass consists of unspoiled rain forest, and with the establishment of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve
Central Suriname Nature Reserve
The Central Suriname Nature Reserve was created in 1998 by Conservation International and the government of Suriname. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its pristine tropical rainforest ecosystem, and contains 16,000 square kilometres of both montane and lowland primary...

 in 1998, Suriname signalled its commitment to conservation of this precious resource. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve became a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 in 2000.

Violent riots broke out in Albina
2009 Albina, Suriname riots
The 2009 Albina, Suriname riots took place on December 24–25, 2009, when local maroon inhabitants attacked Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian and Peruvian gold diggers after a man was allegedly stabbed to death by a Brazilian....

 in 2009 between the local Maroon population and Brazilian gold diggers. In July 2010, Desi Bouterse was elected president despite charges against him for the 1982 killings, and despite having been convicted for drug smuggling in the Netherlands, and sentenced to 11 years.

Economy

The economy
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 of Suriname is dominated by the bauxite
Bauxite
Bauxite is an aluminium ore and is the main source of aluminium. This form of rock consists mostly of the minerals gibbsite Al3, boehmite γ-AlO, and diaspore α-AlO, in a mixture with the two iron oxides goethite and hematite, the clay mineral kaolinite, and small amounts of anatase TiO2...

 industry, which accounts for more than 15% of GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 and 70% of export earnings. Other main export products include rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, tuna
Tuna
Tuna is a salt water fish from the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. Tuna are fast swimmers, and some species are capable of speeds of . Unlike most fish, which have white flesh, the muscle tissue of tuna ranges from pink to dark red. The red coloration derives from myoglobin, an...

, coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

s, banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s and shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

. Suriname has recently started exploiting some of its sizeable oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 reserves. About a quarter of the people work in the agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 sector. The Surinamese economy is very dependent on commerce, its main trade partners being the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 countries.

After assuming power in the fall of 1996, the Wijdenbosch
Jules Wijdenbosch
Jules Albert Wijdenbosch is a politician in Suriname. He was a member of the National Democratic Party, which held absolute power in Suriname during the 1980s. He was Prime Minister from April 1987 until January 1988, Vice President from January 1991 until September 1991, and President from...

 government ended the structural adjustment
Structural adjustment
Structural adjustments are the policies implemented by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in developing countries. These policy changes are conditions for getting new loans from the International Monetary Fund or World Bank, or for obtaining lower interest rates on existing loans...

 program of the previous government, claiming it was unfair to the poorer elements of society. Tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

 revenues fell as old taxes lapsed and the government failed to implement new tax alternatives. By the end of 1997, the allocation of new Dutch development funds was frozen as Surinamese Government relations with the Netherlands deteriorated. Economic growth slowed in 1998, with decline in the mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

, construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

, and utility
Utility
In economics, utility is a measure of customer satisfaction, referring to the total satisfaction received by a consumer from consuming a good or service....

 sectors. Rampant government expenditures, poor tax collection, a bloated civil service, and reduced foreign aid in 1999 contributed to the fiscal deficit, estimated at 11% of GDP. The government sought to cover this deficit through monetary expansion, which led to a dramatic increase in inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

.
  • GDP (2010 est.): U.S. $4.794 billion.
  • Annual growth rate real GDP (2010 est.): 3.5%.
  • Per capita GDP (2010 est.): U.S. $9,900.
  • Inflation (2007): 6.4%.
  • Natural resources: Bauxite, gold, oil, iron ore, other minerals; forests; hydroelectric potential; fish and shrimp.
  • Agriculture: Products—rice, bananas, timber, palm kernels, coconuts, peanuts, citrus fruits, and forest products.
  • Industry: Types—alumina, oil, gold, fish, shrimp, lumber.
  • Trade (2005):
    • Exports: $1.391 billion: alumina, gold, crude oil, lumber, shrimp and fish, rice, bananas. Major consumers- Canada 35.47%, Belgium 14.92%, US 10.15%, UAE 9.87%, Norway 4.92%, Netherlands 4.7%, France 4.47% (2009)
    • Imports: $1.297 billion: capital equipment, petroleum, foodstuffs, cotton, consumer goods. Major suppliers- US 30.79%, Netherlands 19.17%, Trinidad and Tobago 13.04%, China 6.8%, Japan 5.85% (2009)

Demographics

According to the 2004 census, Suriname has a population of 492,829 inhabitants. It is made up of several distinct ethnic groups.
  • Amerindians
    Indigenous peoples of the Americas
    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

    , the original inhabitants of Suriname, form 3.6% of the population. The main groups being the Akuriyo, Arawak, Carib/Kaliña
    Kalina
    Kalina may refer to:feminine given name:* Kalinapeople* Noah Kalina, American photographer* Robert Kalina, Austrian banknote designer* Václav Kalina, Czech footballerplaces* Kalina, a geographical location in Mumbai...

    , Trío (Tiriyó
    Tiriyó
    The Tiriyó usually call themselves tarëno, etymologically 'people from here, local people'. They are approximately 2,000 and live in several major villages and a number of minor villages in the border zone between Brazil and Suriname...

    ), and Wayana
    Wayana
    The Wayana are a Carib-speaking people located in the south-eastern part of the Guiana highlands, a region divided between Brazil, Surinam, and French Guiana...

    . They live mainly in the districts of Paramaribo
    Paramaribo
    Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

    , Wanica, Maroni
    Maroni
    Maroni is village located in the Larnaca District of Cyprus....

     and Sipaliwini.
  • Hindoestanen
    Hindoestanen
    The Hindoestanen are an ethnic group of South Asian origin in the Netherlands and Suriname. After the Dutch government signed a treaty with the United Kingdom on the recruitment of contract workers, the Hindoestanen began migrating to Suriname in 1873 from what was then British India as indentured...

     form the largest major group at 33% of the population. They are descendants of 19th-century contract workers from India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    . They are from the Indian states of Bihar
    Bihar
    Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

     and Eastern Uttar Pradesh
    Uttar Pradesh
    Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

    , in Northern India, along the Nepal
    Nepal
    Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

    i border.
  • The Surinamese Creoles
    Surinamese Creole people
    Surinamese Creole people are the inhabitants of Suriname with one or more ancestors of Black African descent. The Surinamese Creole culture is a fusion of various African cultures with indigenous and European influences. The traditional garment of the Creoles in Suriname, the koto with the anjisa...

     form the middle group 31% of the population. They are the mixed descendants of West African slaves and Europeans (mostly Dutch).
  • The Javanese
    Javanese Surinamese
    Javanese Surinamese are an ethnic group present in Suriname since the late 19th century, whose first members were selected by the Dutch colonizers from the former Dutch Indies...

     (descendants of contract workers from the former Dutch East Indies
    Dutch East Indies
    The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

     on the island of Java, Indonesia
    Indonesia
    Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

    ), form 15% of the population. mainly in Nickerie, Saramacca, Wanica, Paramaribo and Commewijne
  • Surinamese Maroons
    Maroon (people)
    Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

     (descendants of escaped West African slaves) make up 10% and are divided into five main groups: Ndyuka
    Ndyuka people
    The Ndyuka people, also known as Aukan people or Okanisi, are a Maroon ethnic group who live in the Eastern part of Suriname and speak the Ndyuka language...

     (Aucans), Kwinti
    Kwinti
    The Kwinti are an ethnic group living in the forested interior of Suriname on the bank of the Coppename River, and the eponymous term for their language, which has less than 1,000 speakers. The language is English-based with Portuguese and other influences. It is similar to the languages spoken by...

    , Matawai, Saramaccan
    Saramaka
    The Saramaka or Saramacca are one of six Maroon peoples in the Republic of Suriname. The word "Maroon" comes from the Spanish cimarrón, itself derived from an Arawakan root; by the early 16th century it was used throughout the Americas to designate slaves who successfully escaped from slavery.-...

    s and Paramaccan
    Paramaccan
    The Paramaccan are an ethnic group living in the forested interior of Suriname, mainly in the Marowijne District, and the eponymous term for their language, which has less than 1,000 speakers. The language is English-based with influences from Portuguese and other languages. It is similar to the...

    s.
  • Chinese
    Chinese Surinamese
    Chinese Surinamese are residents of Suriname with a Chinese background. Chinese Surinamese are a small part of the Surinamese people. The majority of the Chinese Surinamese consider Hakka, Dongguan or Meixian as their ancestral homes....

    , about 14,000 are descendants of the earliest 19th-century contract workers. The 1990's and early 21st century saw renewed immigration on a large scale. In the year 2011 there were over 41,000 Chinese in Suriname, including legal and illegal migrants.
  • Boeroes (derived from boer, the Dutch
    Dutch language
    Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

     word for "farmer") are descendants of Dutch 19th-century immigrant farmers. Most Boeroes left after independence in 1975.
  • Jews
    Jews
    The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

    , mainly descendants of Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazi Jews
    Ashkenazi Jews
    Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

    . In their history, Jodensavanne
    Jodensavanne
    Jodensavanne was an attempt to establish an autonomous Jewish territory in Suriname, South America.Jodensavanne is located in Para District, about 50 km south of the capital Paramaribo, on the Suriname River....

     plays a major role. Many Jews are mixed with other populations.
  • Lebanese
    Lebanese people
    The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

    , primarily Maronites
    Maronites
    Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

    , many from the town of Bcharre, Lebanon
    Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

    .
  • Brazilians, many of them gold
    Gold
    Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

     miners. Most of the nearly 40,000 Brazilians living in Suriname arrived during the past several years.


The predominant religion in the country is Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, both in the form of Roman Catholicism and various denominations of Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, the Moravian Church being the oldest and largest. It is particularly dominant among Creoles and Maroons. The Creoles and to a lesser degree the Maroons, both descendants of enslaved Africans, converted to Christianity during the colonial period but may still retain their Afro-American religion
Afro-American religion
Afro-American religions are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas among African slaves and their descendants in various countries of Latin America, the Caribbean, and parts of the southern United States...

 called Winti
Winti
Winti is the Afro-Surinamese traditional religion that resulted from the coming together of different elements of the religious beliefs of the slaves that were brought to Suriname from different west African tribes . Similar religious developments can be seen elsewhere in the America's and the...

. Most of the Indians are Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, but some practice Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 or Christianity. The Javanese practice either Islam or Christianity. Suriname's population is 13.5% Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, which is the highest percentage of Muslims of any country in the New World.

The vast majority of people (about 90%) live in Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

 or on the coast. There is also a significant Surinamese population in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. In 2005 there were 328,300 Surinamese people living in the Netherlands, which is about 2% of the total population of the Netherlands, compared to 438,000 Surinamese in Suriname itself.

Languages

Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 is the sole official language, and is the language of education, government, business and the media. Over 60 percent of the population speak it as a mother tongue
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

, and most of the rest speak it as a second language. In 2004, Suriname became an associate member of the Dutch Language Union
Dutch Language Union
The Dutch Language Union is an international institution for discussing issues regarding the Dutch language. It was founded on 9 September 1980 by the Netherlands and Belgium...

. It is the only Dutch, and one of the two non Romance-speaking countries in South America (the other is Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, formerly British Guiana
British Guiana
British Guiana was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, now the independent nation of Guyana.The area was originally settled by the Dutch at the start of the 17th century as the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice...

).

In Paramaribo, Dutch is the main home language in two-thirds of households. The recognition of "Surinaams-Nederlands" ("Surinamese Dutch
Surinamese Dutch
Surinamese Dutch is the form of Dutch spoken in Suriname, a former Dutch colony. Dutch is spoken as a mother tongue by about 60% of the population, most of them being bilingual with Sranan Tongo, Saramaccan and other languages. Nevertheless, Dutch is the sole official language of the country...

"
) as a national dialect equal to "Nederlands-Nederlands" ("Dutch Dutch") and "Vlaams-Nederlands" ("Flemish Dutch") was expressed in 2009 by the publication of the Woordenboek Surinaams Nederlands (Surinamese Dutch Dictionary). Only in the interior of Suriname is Dutch seldom used.

Sranan Tongo
Sranan Tongo
Sranan is a creole language spoken as a lingua franca by approximately 300,000 people in Suriname...

, a local creole language
Creole language
A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable natural language developed from the mixing of parent languages; creoles differ from pidgins in that they have been nativized by children as their primary language, making them have features of natural languages that are normally missing from...

 originally spoken by the creole population group, is the most widely used language in the streets and often interchangeably with Dutch depending on the formality of the setting.

Surinamese Hindi or Sarnami, a dialect of Bhojpuri
Bhojpuri language
Bhojpuri is a language spoken in parts of north-central and eastern India. It is spoken in the western part of state of Bihar, the northwestern part of Jharkhand, and the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh , as well as adjoining parts of the Nepal Terai. Bhojpuri is also spoken in Guyana,...

, is the third-most used language, spoken by the descendants of South Asian contract workers from then British India. Javanese
Javanese language
Javanese language is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java...

 is used by the descendants of Javanese contract workers. The Maroon
Maroon (people)
Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

 languages, somewhat intelligible with Sranan Tongo, include Saramaka
Saramaka
The Saramaka or Saramacca are one of six Maroon peoples in the Republic of Suriname. The word "Maroon" comes from the Spanish cimarrón, itself derived from an Arawakan root; by the early 16th century it was used throughout the Americas to designate slaves who successfully escaped from slavery.-...

, Paramakan, Ndyuka (also called Aukan), Kwinti and Matawai. Amerindian languages, spoken by Amerindians, include Carib and Arawak
Arawakan languages
Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean based on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes the proposal is called Arawakan, in which case the central family is called Maipurean....

. Hakka and Cantonese are spoken by the descendants of the Chinese contract (koelie, coolie) workers. Mandarin
Standard Mandarin
Standard Chinese or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 is spoken by some few recent Chinese immigrants. English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 are also used. Spanish and Portuguese are spoken by Latin American residents and their descendants and sometimes also taught in schools.

The public discourse about Suriname's languages is a part of an ongoing debate about the country's national identity. While Dutch is perceived as a remnant of colonialism by some, the use of the popular Sranan became associated with nationalist politics after its public use by former dictator Dési Bouterse
Dési Bouterse
Desiré Delano "Dési" Bouterse is the 9th and current President of Suriname.As an army officer, he was the de facto leader of Suriname through most of the 1980s, serving as Chairman of the National Military Council...

 in the 1980s, and groups descended from escaped slaves might resent it. Some propose to change the national language to English, so as to improve links to the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

 and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, or to Spanish, as a nod to Suriname's location in South America, although it has no Spanish-speaking neighbours.

Health

Fertility rate was at 2.6 births per woman. Public expenditure was at 3.6 % of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 4.2 %. There were 45 physicians per 100,000 in the early 2000s. Infant mortality was at 30 per 1,000 live births. Male life expectancy at birth was at 66.4 years, whereas female life expectancy at birth was at 73 years.

Transport

Suriname and neighboring Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 are the only two countries on the (in-land) American continent that drive on the left. In Guyana, this practice is inherited from United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 colonial authorities. The reason for the left hand drive in Suriname is explained by several sources. It is thought that this is because the first cars imported were from England, but this is yet undocumented. In addition, this view does not make statements on traffic before the automobile era. Another explanation is that the Netherlands, at the time of colonization of Suriname, used the left-hand side of the road for traffic, or that Suriname was first colonized by the English. Although the Netherlands converted to driving to the right at the end of the 18th century), Suriname did not. Writers Peter Kincaid and Ian Watson suggest that in territories such as Suriname, with no connecting roads to neighbour countries, there is no external pressure to either change or to maintain the status quo on driving sides.

Politics

The Republic of Suriname is a constitutional, democratically representational republic based on the 1987 constitution
Constitution of Suriname
The current Constitution of Suriname was adopted on 30 September 1987, following a referendum. It marked the return to democracy after the Bouterse military dictatorship of the 1980s. The first constitution of independent Suriname was adopted in 1975, and was modeled after the Constitution of the...

. The legislative branch of government consists of a 51-member unicameral National Assembly
National Assembly of Suriname
The National Assembly is the Parliament, representing the legislative branch of government in the Republic of Suriname. It is a unicameral legislature...

, simultaneously and popularly elected for a five-year term.

During the recently held elections on Tuesday 25 May the "Megacombinatie" won 23 of the National Assembly seats followed by "Nationale Front" with 20 seats. A much smaller but important for the collaboration went to the 'A-combinatie" and to the "Volksalliantie". For more details the reader can visit the website of the "25 mei verkiezingen.com" or from the "ministerie van binnenlandse zaken" which is the ministry of internal affairs.
Currently negiotations are going on in and between parties regarding the formation of the coalition for the coming five years.

The President of Suriname
President of Suriname
The President of the Republic of Suriname is, in accordance with the Constitution of 1987, the head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of Suriname....

, who is elected for a five-year term by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly or, failing that, by a majority of the People's Assembly, heads the executive branch. If at least two-thirds of the National Assembly cannot agree to vote for one presidential candidate, a People's Assembly is formed from all National Assembly delegates and regional and municipal representatives who were elected by popular vote in the most recent national election. As head of government, the president appoints a 16-minister cabinet. A vice president, normally elected at the same time as the president, needs a simple majority in the National Assembly or People's Assembly to be elected for a 5-year term. There is no constitutional provision for removal or replacement of the president unless he resigns.

The judiciary is headed by the Court of Justice (Supreme Court). This court supervises the magistrate courts. Members are appointed for life by the president in consultation with the National Assembly, the State Advisory Council and the National Order of Private Attorneys. In April 2005, the regional Caribbean Court of Justice, based in Trinidad, was inaugurated. As the final court of appeal, it was intended to replace the London-based Privy Council.

The country is divided into 10 administrative districts, each headed by a district commissioner appointed by the president. The commissioner is similar to the governor
Governor (United States)
In the United States, the title governor refers to the chief executive of each state or insular territory, not directly subordinate to the federal authorities, but the political and ceremonial head of the state.-Role and powers:...

 of a United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

-type state, but is appointed and removed by the president.

Culture

Owing to the country's multicultural heritage, Suriname celebrates a variety of distinct ethnic and religious festivals.

National celebrations

1 January - New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is observed annually on December 31, the final day of any given year in the Gregorian calendar. In modern societies, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at social gatherings, during which participants dance, eat, consume alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the...



3 February - Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...



30 March (varies) - Holi-Phagwa

24 April - first Easter Day

25 April - second Easter Day

1 May - Labour Day
Labour Day
Labour Day or Labor Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for...



5 June - Immigration of the Indians (Hindoestanen)

1 July - Keti Koti
Keti Koti
Keti Koti , July 1, is the Emancipation Day in Suriname.Slavery was abolished by the Netherlands in Suriname in 1863. However, slaves in Suriname would not be fully free until 1873, after a mandatory 10 year transition period during which time they were required to work on the plantations for...

, Emancipation Day (end of slavery)

8 August - Immigration of the Javanese

9 August - Day of the indigenous people

25 November - Independence Day
Independence Day
An Independence Day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary of a nation's assumption of independent statehood, usually after ceasing to be a colony or part of another nation or state, and more rarely after the end of a military occupation...



25 December - Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...



26 December - Second Christmas Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...



There are popo several Hindu and Islamic national holidays like Divali (deepavali), Phagwa and Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

 and Eid-ul-adha. These holidays do not have specific dates on the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

 as they are based on the Hindu and Islamic calendars, respectively.

There are several holidays which are unique to Suriname. These include the Indian (Hindoestaanse), Javanese and Chinese arrival days. They celebrate the arrival of the first ships with their respective immigrants.

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve in Suriname is called Oud jaar, or "old year". It is during this period that the Surinamese population goes to the city's commercial district to watch "demonstrational fireworks
Fireworks
Fireworks are a class of explosive pyrotechnic devices used for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event is a display of the effects produced by firework devices...

". The bigger stores invest in these firecrackers and display them out in the streets. Every year the length of them is compared, and high praises are given for the company that has imported the largest ribbon.

These celebrations start at 10 in the morning and finish the next day. The day is usually filled with laughter, dance, music, and drinking. When the night starts, the big street parties are already at full capacity. The most popular fiesta is the one that is held at café 't Vat in the main tourist district. The parties there stop between 10 and 11 at night, after which people go home to light their pagaras (red-firecracker-ribbons) at midnight.
After 12, the parties continue and the streets fill again until daybreak.

Sports

The Suriname Olympic Committee
Suriname Olympic Committee
Suriname Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee representing Suriname.- External links :**...

 is the national governing body for sports in Suriname. The SOC was established in 1959 and now has 17 members. Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Chess, Cycling, Judo, Karate, Shooting, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwando, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, and Wrestling.

Other somewhat popular sports in Suriname are baseball and softball, beach soccer and beach volley, boating, body building and power lifting, bridge, cricket, draughts, fishing, golf, horseback riding, snooker and billiards, squash, auto and motor sports.

One of the major sports in Suriname is football. Some of the greatest football players to represent the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, such as Fabian de Freitas
Fabian de Freitas
Fabian de Freitas is a former Surinamese-Dutch footballer who plays as a striker. De Freitas played in England with Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion and in Spain with CA Osasuna....

, Pierre van Hooijdonk
Pierre van Hooijdonk
Petrus Ferdinandus Johannes "Pierre" van Hooijdonk is a retired Dutch football player who played as a striker. His last spell was at Feyenoord Rotterdam. Van Hooijdonk was capped 46 times for the Dutch national team, scoring 21 goals, and played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000 and Euro 2004...

, Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard
Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard is a Dutch football manager of Dutch and Surinamese descent and former player. Rijkaard has played for Ajax, Real Zaragoza and Milan, and represented his national side 73 times, scoring 10 goals. In his coaching career, he has been at the helm of the Dutch national side,...

, Ruud Gullit
Ruud Gullit
OON is a Dutch football manager and former football player, who played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s. He was the captain of the Netherlands national team that was victorious at Euro 88 and was also a member of the squad for the 1990 World Cup. He was named the European Footballer of the...

, Patrick Kluivert
Patrick Kluivert
Patrick Stephan Kluivert is a former Dutch footballer, currently head coach of the youth side of FC Twente. He played as a striker for AFC Ajax, A.C. Milan, FC Barcelona, Newcastle United, Valencia CF, PSV Eindhoven, and Lille OSC. Kluivert played for the Dutch national team from 1994 to 2004. He...

, Edgar Davids
Edgar Davids
Edgar Steven Davids is a retired Dutch footballer and current member of the supervisory board of Ajax. After beginning his career with the Amsterdam club, he subsequently played in Italy for Milan and Juventus before a loan spell with Barcelona. He went on to play for Internazionale and Tottenham...

, Clarence Seedorf
Clarence Seedorf
Clarence Clyde Seedorf OON is a Dutch footballer who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Serie A club Milan. Seedorf is the first player to have won the Champions League with three different clubs - Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998 and Milan in 2003 and 2007...

, Aron Winter
Aron Winter
Aron Mohamed Winter [VIN-ter] is a retired Dutch football midfielder and current head coach of Toronto FC...

, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jerrel Hasselbaink usually known as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is a Dutch former football striker who played for various clubs in the Netherlands, Portugal, England, and Spain, as well as the Dutch national team. He scored more than 200 career goals...

, Stanley Menzo
Stanley Menzo
Stanley Purl Menzo is a retired Dutch footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and a current coach.Most of his professional career was spent at Ajax , appearing in more than 300 official matches with the club and winning nine major titles.Menzo represented the Dutch national team in one World Cup...

, Ryan Babel
Ryan Babel
Ryan Guno Babel is a Dutch football player who currently plays for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. He can play as a left winger and as a striker. Babel began his career at AFC Ajax in 1998, working his way up through the youth team and into the senior squad...

, Ken Monkou
Ken Monkou
Kenneth John "Ken" Monkou is a retired Dutch footballer who played in a defensive role.Born in Suriname but raised in the Netherlands, Monkou's first major side was Feyenoord Rotterdam. He moved to England in May 1989 to sign for newly-promoted to the First Division Chelsea for £100,000...

, Edson Braafheid
Edson Braafheid
Edson René Braafheid is a Surinamese-born Dutch footballer who currently plays as a left back for German Bundesliga club 1899 Hoffenheim.- Utrecht :Braafheid began his professional career at FC Utrecht in 2003 and made 81 appearances for the side....

, Boy Waterman
Boy Waterman
Boy Waterman is a Dutch football goalkeeper who currently plays for Alemannia Aachen.He was part of the Dutch Under-21 team to win the 2007 Under-21 European Football Championship.- Club career :...

, Regi Blinker
Regi Blinker
Reginald "Regi" Waldi Blinker is a former Dutch footballer of Surinamese extraction, who played as a left winger....

, Fabian Wilnis
Fabian Wilnis
Fabian Lloyd Wilnis is a retired Dutch-Surinamese right-sided defender. He played for NAC Breda, De Graafschap, Ipswich Town and Grays Athletic.-Career:...

 and Eljero Elia
Eljero Elia
Eljero George Rinaldo Elia is a Dutch footballer who currently plays for Italian Serie A club Juventus and the Dutch national team. He scored on his debut for the Dutch national team in September 2009 and participated at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.-ADO Den Haag:Before excelling in the...

 are of Surinamese descent. Davids in particular has written of his passionate pride in his Surinamese heritage and his love of attending football matches there.

There are a number of local heroes in other sports as well, like Primraj Binda, best known as the athlete who dominated the local 10 km (6.2 mi)
Long-distance track event
Long-distance track event races require runners to balance their energy. These types of races are predominantly aerobic in nature and at the highest level, exceptional levels of aerobic endurance is required more than anything else...

 for nearly a decade,
Steven Vismale also for the triathlon and another notable track athlete from Suriname was Tommy Asinga
Tommy Asinga
Tommy Asinga is a track star from Moengo, Suriname.Asinga trained in the United States, attending Eastern Michigan University from 1991–1994, where he won All-American honors five times....

. The most famous international athlete from Suriname is Letitia Vriesde
Letitia Vriesde
Letitia Alma Vriesde is a track and field athlete from Suriname. Her main event is the 800 m. She is the first sportsperson from Surinam to compete at five Olympic Games....

.

Letitia Vriesde
Letitia Vriesde
Letitia Alma Vriesde is a track and field athlete from Suriname. Her main event is the 800 m. She is the first sportsperson from Surinam to compete at five Olympic Games....

 She won a silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in 1995 behind Ana Quirot. This was in addition to the bronze medal she had already achieved earlier that year at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics. These medals were the first to be won by a South American female athlete in world championship competition. She also won a bronze medal at the 2001 world outdoor championships, but has never managed to reach an Olympic final. At the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

 she set a record of sorts by recording the fastest ever non-qualifying time in an 800 metre semi final. She has also won many medals at the Pan-American Games and Central American Games. Winning 5 CACSO gold medals in 1990 (Mexico City 1500 m), 1993 (Ponce 800 m & 1500 m), 1998 (Maracaibo 800 m) & 2002 (El Salvador 800 m). One Pan Am Games gold medal in 1999 Winnipeg, Canada. However she was disqualified and stripped of another gold medal after the 2003 Pan-American Games after testing positive for excessive caffeine levels. She was not banned however and went on to compete at that year's World Championships.

Swimmer Anthony Nesty
Anthony Nesty
Anthony Conrad Nesty is a former Surinamese international swimmer who was an Olympic gold medalist in the 100-metre butterfly event in 1988.- Early years :...

 is the only Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 medallist for Suriname. He won the Gold Medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics
1988 Summer Olympics
The 1988 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, were an all international multi-sport events celebrated from September 17 to October 2, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. They were the second summer Olympic Games to be held in Asia and the first since the 1964 Summer Olympics...

 at Seoul, South Korea. His winning time at the 100-meter butterfly
Swimming at the 1988 Summer Olympics - Men's 100 metre butterfly
The men's 100 butterfly at the 1988 Summer Olympics, was contested on September 20 and September 21 .-Records:The existing World and Olympic records at the time of the event were:-A Final:-B Final:-Preliminary heats:...

; he finished the event in 53.00 seconds, was an Olympic Record at that time. In 1987, he won the gold medal in the 100-metre butterfly and the bronze medal in the 200-metre butterfly at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, Indiana. These victories established the foundation that would lead to his success at the Seoul Olympics. He was unbeaten in the 100-metre butterfly event for three years. Nesty won gold medals in the 100-metre butterfly at the Goodwill Games in 1990 and the FINA World Championships in 1991. At the 1991 Pan-American Games in Havana, Cuba, he again won a gold medal in 100-metre butterfly and a silver in the 200-metre butterfly. He attempted to defend his 1988 Olympic gold medal in the 100-metre butterfly at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, but finished with a third-place Olympic bronze. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, he now lives in Gainesville
Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville is the largest city in, and the county seat of, Alachua County, Florida, United States as well as the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area . The preliminary 2010 Census population count for Gainesville is 124,354. Gainesville is home to the sixth...

, Florida, and is a coach of the University of Florida, mainly coaching distance swimmers. The Indoor Stadium in Paramaribo is named after him.

Badminton
Badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs , who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their...

 is a small, but most successful and fairly popular sport in Suriname. The National Badminton Association, the Surinaamse Badminton Bond (SBB), was founded on November 16th, 1958. The first individual National champions, back in 1965 the late Romeo Ebeciljo Caster and the late Lilian Bendter were most famous in their days. Together with Trinidad, Guyana and Jamaica Suriname founded the Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation, known as Carebaco in 1972. Suriname hosted the Carebaco Games 6 times. In 1973, 1978, 1984, 1988, 1999 & 2007. Players from Suriname have won numerous titles at these Carebaco Games, both in the individual as well as in the team event. In the early years Suriname gained more titles with the adults, in later years more with the juniors. Ro Caster was also the first Carebaco Caribbean men's singles Champion in 1972 & 1973. Roel Sjauw Mook & Otmar "Arti" Kersout became Carebaco Caribbean men's doubles champions in 1974, 1975 & 1976. The ladies Diana Uiterloo & Loes Sjauw Mook won the ladies doubles at the Carebaco Games 1978. In the same year Mike van Daal won the juniors most outstanding player throphy for the first time. In 1980 Hedwig de La Fuente & John Sno won the Carebaco boys doubles juniors title. In 1982 Hedwig de La Fuente gained the juniors triple crown for Suriname. (Boys singles, doubles with Steve Nobibux & mixed with Sherida Ramzan). In 1983 Steve Nobibux also won the Carebaco juniors mixed with Joan Jong Pian Kie. In 1984 Mike van Daal won the men's singles & men's doubles Carebaco title with brother Clyde van Daal. Carmen Partoredjo won the girls doubles with Audrey Pawironadi & mixed doubles with Steve Nobibux in the juniors event. In 1985 Mike van Daal won the Carebaco triple crown (Doubles with John Sno & mixed doubles with Sherida Ramzan). In the same year the Surinamese juniors won a Carebaco clean sweep with team & individual golds. Marlon Djojodiwongso won the boys singles & mixed doubles with Audrey Pawironadi. Audrey captured the Carebaco juniors triple championship with a singles & doubles victory with Donna Amatkarijo also. Oscar Brandon & Milton Djojodiwongso won the Carebaco boys doubles title for Suriname. In 1986 the juniors retained their team title and almost retained the clean sweep individual. Marlon Djojodiwongso won the boys singles & boys doubles with Fayaz Nazir. Fayaz Nazir also won the mixed doubles with Audrey Pawironadi, who on her turn also won the girls singles in 1986. After these years the Carebaco success of Suriname continued especially with the junior badminton players.

In 1990 Suriname participated for the first time at the Pan American Junior Badminton Championships in Guatemala City. In the girls doubles U-19 Suriname won silver with Letitia Wongsodimedjo & the late Thalitia Sjauw Mook. In 2002 Mitchel Wongsodikromo & Virgil Soeroredjo also won silver for Suriname at the Pan Am Juniors U-19 boys doubles event in the USA after they won gold in the year 2000 in the U-17 boys doubles event in Cuba already. The junior team of Suriname won a Pan Am bronze medal in 2002 in Orange County, USA for the first time. Both players won a bronze medal in men's singles at the 2002 CACSO Games in El Salvador. In 2010 the badminton team of Suriname gained a bronze medal at the Odesur South American Games
South American Games
The South American Games , formerly the Southern Cross Games are a regional multi-sport event held between nations from South America, organized by the South American Sports Organization .The first...

 for the team event championships and also for the individual mixed doubles event (Mitchel Wongsodikromo & Crystal Leefmans). Also in 2010 Virgil Soeroredjo & Mitchel Wongsodikromo won a bronze medal for Suriname in the men's doubles event at the CACSO Games of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Nowadays the SBB yearly organizes the Suriname International Badminton Open event in Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

.
This is a prize money badminton tournament part of the Badminton World Federation calendar sanctioned as an Olympic Qualifying and World Ranking event. The Suriname International 2010 and 2011 editions both had a total prize money purse of US$ 5000,-

Oscar Brandon, the most successful badminton player of Suriname till now, participated in 1996 at the Atlanta Summer Olympics
Badminton at the 1996 Summer Olympics
Badminton at the 1996 Summer Olympics included the four events held at the previous Games as well as a fifth event: mixed doubles. An additional change to the tournament was the playoff game for the bronze medal rather than the awarding of two bronzes.The tournament was single-elimination...

. In his career Oscar Brandon won a fourth place semi-final in men's singles at the 1990 CACSO Games in Mexico City. He was also winner of the men's singles at the Suriname International 1998, runner-up of the Argentina International in 1998 and winner of the mixed doubles at the Brazil Sao Paolo Cup & Argentina International in 1998 with Adrienn Kocsis from Peru.
In 1998 he was declared winner of the Pan American Badminton Circuit.
In 2009 he was runner-up in the men's doubles at the Suriname International with partner Rahul Rampersad from Trinidad & Tobago. Nowadays Brandon is a coach, technical director of the SBB and Chef de Mission for the Suriname Olympic Committee
Suriname Olympic Committee
Suriname Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee representing Suriname.- External links :**...

 at multi-sport events like the London 2012 Olympic Games
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the "London 2012 Olympic Games", are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from 27 July to 12 August 2012...

.

Multiple K-1
K-1
K-1 is a defunct world-wide kickboxing promotion based in Tokyo, Japan founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a formerKyokushin karate practitioner. K-1 combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, San Shou, kickboxing, western-style boxing, and other martial arts...

 champion and legend, Ernesto Hoost
Ernesto Hoost
Ernesto Fritz "Mr. Perfect" Hoost is a Dutch former kickboxer and four-time K-1 World Champion. He made his debut in 1993 at the K-1 World Grand Prix 1993, where he came just one win short of the world title...

, was born in Suriname. Rayen Simson
Rayen Simson
Rayen "Red Bean" Simson is a Surinamese-Dutch former super middleweight Muay Thai kickboxer. Despite not being as well recognised as fellow Dutch Muay Thai fighters Ramon Dekkers and Rob Kaman, he is still one of the best kickboxers ever; claiming 7 world titles in 3 different organizations and...

, another legendary multiple world champion kickboxer, was also born in Suriname.Remy Bonjasky
Remy Bonjasky
Remy "The Flying Gentleman" Bonjasky is a Dutch super heavyweight kickboxer of Surinamese descent. He is a three-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion, who has won the title in 2003, 2004, and 2008...

 also a multiple K-1
K-1
K-1 is a defunct world-wide kickboxing promotion based in Tokyo, Japan founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a formerKyokushin karate practitioner. K-1 combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, San Shou, kickboxing, western-style boxing, and other martial arts...

 champion is also from Surinamese descent.
MMA
Mixed martial arts
Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, both standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, judo and other styles. The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be...

 and Kickboxing
Kickboxing
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

 champions Melvin Manhoef
Melvin Manhoef
Melvin Manhoef is a Dutch-Surinamese Muay Thai kickboxer and mixed martial artist, trained by Mike Passenier and fighting out of Mike's Gym in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In kickboxing, he is the current It's Showtime 85MAX World Champion, and in MMA he was the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight World champion...

, Gilbert Yvel
Gilbert Yvel
Gilbert Ramon Yvel is a Dutch heavyweight mixed martial artist associated with the Vos Gym training camp in the Netherlands. He has competed in the Pride Fighting Championships, Affliction Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship promotions...

 were born in Suriname or from Surinamese descent. Retired female kickboxer Ilonka Elmont
Ilonka Elmont
Ilonka "Killer Queen" Elmont is a Dutch-Surinamese former professional Muay Thai kickboxer and seven-time World Champion in the Fly-Weight division ....

 was also born in Suriname. Another notable up and comer kickboxer and K-1
K-1
K-1 is a defunct world-wide kickboxing promotion based in Tokyo, Japan founded by Kazuyoshi Ishii, a formerKyokushin karate practitioner. K-1 combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, Savate, San Shou, kickboxing, western-style boxing, and other martial arts...

 fighter, Tyrone Spong
Tyrone Spong
Tyrone "King of The Ring" Spong is a Dutch-Surinamese kickboxer. He is the reigning WFCA Cruiserweight Muay Thai and the former It's Showtime 95MAX World champion, fighting out of Fighting Factory Carbin in Amsterdam, Netherlands....

, was born in Suriname. Ginty Vrede
Ginty Vrede
Ginty Vrede was a Dutch kickboxer and 2008 WBC Heavyweight Muay Thai World champion.-Biography and career:Vrede won the WBC heavyweight World title by beating the previously unbeaten Shane del Rosario in Las Vegas on January 12, 2008 by KO in the first round...

, a former Muay Thai Heavy Weight Champion who died in 2008 aged 22, was born in Suriname.

Education

Education in Suriname is compulsory until the age of 12, and the nation had a net primary enrollment rate of 94% in 2004. Literacy
Literacy
Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

 is very common, particularly among males. The main university in the country is the Anton de Kom University of Suriname.

Media

A popular newspaper is De Ware Tijd. Suriname has twenty four radio stations, two broadcast through the Internet (Apintie and Radio10). There are six television sources: STVS, RBN, ABC, ATV, Mustika, and Garuda). Also listened to is mArt
Mart (broadcaster)
mArt is a local broadcasting station in Amsterdam. Founded by people from Suriname, it was originally focused on the Surinamese community in Amsterdam, but is now broadening its horizons to other ethnic minorities...

, a broadcaster from Amsterdam founded by people from Suriname. Kondreman
Kondreman
Kondreman is a weekly cartoon, published on the web since early 2004, and since February 2005 also printed in De Ware Tijd which is the biggest newspaper in Suriname. Kondreman is drawn by Arnout Wittebrood, a Dutchman.-External links:* *...

 is one of the popular cartoons in Suriname.

Tourism

Royal Torarica, was opened in the night district of Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

 on the Suriname River
Suriname River
The Suriname River is 480 km long and flows through the country Suriname. Its sources are located in the Guiana Highlands on the border between the Wilhelmina Mountains and the Eilerts de Haan Mountains...

. The hotel industry is important to Suriname's economy. The rental of apartments, or the rent-a-house phenomenon, is also popular in Suriname.

Most tourists visit Suriname for the outstanding biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 of the pristine Amazonian rain forests in the south of the country, which are noted for their flora and fauna. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve
Central Suriname Nature Reserve
The Central Suriname Nature Reserve was created in 1998 by Conservation International and the government of Suriname. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 for its pristine tropical rainforest ecosystem, and contains 16,000 square kilometres of both montane and lowland primary...

 is the biggest and one of the most popular reserves, along with the Brownsberg Nature Park which overlooks the Brokopondo Reservoir
Brokopondo Reservoir
The Brokopondo Reservoir, officially named Professor Doctor Ingenieur W. J. van Blommestein Meer, and also called the Brokopondostuwmeer, is a large reservoir in the South American country Suriname. It is named after the Surakarta-born Dutch hydrological engineer Willem Johan van Blommestein...

, the latter being one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Tonka Island in the reservoir is home to a rustic eco-tourism project run by the Saramaccaner Maroons.

There are also many waterfalls throughout the country: Raleighvallen, or Raleigh Falls, is a 56000 hectares (138,378.9 acre) nature reserve on the Coppename River
Coppename River
The Coppename is a river in Suriname in the district of Sipaliwini, forming part of the boundary between the districts of Coronie and Saramacca.-Course:The Coppename river begins in the Wilhelmina Mountains...

, rich in bird life. Also are the Blanche Marie Falls on the Nickerie River
Nickerie River
The Nickerie is a river in the northwestern part of Suriname.The river rises in the Bakhuys Mountains and then flows to the North where it forms part of the border between the Coronie and Nickerie districts...

 and the Wonotobo Falls. Tafelberg Mountain in the centre of the country is surrounded by its own reserve- the Tafelberg Nature Reserve- around the source of the Saramacca River
Saramacca River
Saramacca River is a river in Suriname . Arawaks named this river "Surama", and today's name "Saramacca" is probably derived from it. It originates in the Wilhelmina Mountains and flows northwards and enters the Atlantic Ocean together with Coppename River. It has a river basin of 9.400 km² and...

, as is the Voltzberg Nature Reserve further north on the Coppename River
Coppename River
The Coppename is a river in Suriname in the district of Sipaliwini, forming part of the boundary between the districts of Coronie and Saramacca.-Course:The Coppename river begins in the Wilhelmina Mountains...

 at Raleighvallen. In the interior are many Maroon
Maroon (people)
Maroons were runaway slaves in the West Indies, Central America, South America, and North America, who formed independent settlements together...

 and Amerindian villages which often have their own reserves and are open to visitors.

Suriname is one of the few countries in the world where at least one of each biome
Biome
Biomes are climatically and geographically defined as similar climatic conditions on the Earth, such as communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, and are often referred to as ecosystems. Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of abiotic and biotic factors spread over a...

 that the state possesses has been declared a wildlife reserve. Around 30% of the total land area of Suriname is protected by law as reserves.

Other attractions include plantations such as Laarwijk
Laarwijk
Laarwijk is a settlement and a former plantation in the Commewijne District in Suriname.Laarwijk is situated along the Suriname River and can only be reached by boat .- Economie :...

, which is situated along the Suriname River
Suriname River
The Suriname River is 480 km long and flows through the country Suriname. Its sources are located in the Guiana Highlands on the border between the Wilhelmina Mountains and the Eilerts de Haan Mountains...

. This plantation can only be reached by boat via Domburg, in the north central Wanica District
Wanica District
Wanica is a district of Suriname, in the northeast. Wanica's capital city is Lelydorp.Wanica has a population of near 76,320 and an area of 444 km²...

 of Suriname.

Landmarks

The Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge
Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge
The Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge , also called Suriname bridge, is a bridge over the Suriname river between the capital city Paramaribo and Meerzorg in the Commewijne District. The bridge is part of the East-West Link, and is named after former president Jules Wijdenbosch...

 is a bridge
Bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

 over the river Suriname between Paramaribo and Meerzorg in the Commewijne district. The bridge was built during the tenure of President Jules Albert Wijdenbosch (1996–2000) and was completed in 2000. The bridge is 52 metres (170.6 ft) high, and 1504 metres (4,934.4 ft) long. It connects Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

 with Commewijne, a connection which previously could only be made by ferry. The purpose of the bridge was to facilitate and promote the development of the eastern part of Suriname. The bridge consists of two lanes and is not accessible to pedestrians.

The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is 114 years old. Before it became a cathedral it was a theatre. The theatre was built in 1809 and burned down in 1820. The construction of the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Paramaribo, Suriname is the biggest wooden structure in the Western Hemisphere. It was built as a theatre initially, but after it burned down it was turned into a cathedral.-History:...

 started on January, 13, 1883.

Suriname is one of the few countries in the world where a synagogue
Neveh Shalom Synagogue
The Neveh Shalom Synagogue is the only synagogue of the Ashkenazi community in Suriname.The Neveh Shalom Synagogue is the only synagogue of the Ashkenazi community in Suriname....

 is located next to a mosque. The two buildings are located next to each other in the centre of Paramaribo
Paramaribo
Paramaribo is the capital and largest city of Suriname, located on banks of the Suriname River in the Paramaribo District. Paramaribo has a population of roughly 250,000 people, more than half of Suriname's population...

 and have been known to share a parking facility during their respective religious rites, should they happen to coincide with one another.

Departures

  • Blue Wing Airlines
    Blue Wing Airlines
    Blue Wing Airlines n.v. is an airline with its head office on the grounds of Zorg en Hoop Airport in Paramaribo, Suriname. The airline started operations in 2004 and operates charter and scheduled services from Paramaribo to destinations in the Caribbean area. Its main base is Zorg en Hoop Airport...

  • Caribbean Commuter Airways (Caricom Airways)
  • Gumair
  • Surinam Airways
    Surinam Airways
    Surinam Airways is the national airline of Suriname, based in Paramaribo. It operates regional and long-haul scheduled passenger services. Its hub is at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport.On 16 September 2008, Surinam Airways had 400 employees....


Arrivals

  • Caribbean Airlines
    Caribbean Airlines
    Caribbean Airlines Limited operating as Caribbean Airlines is the national airline of Trinidad and Tobago. The airline is also flag carrier to Jamaica through its subsidiary, Caribbean Airlines-Air Jamaica Transition Limited or Air Jamaica....

     (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Insel Air
    Insel Air
    Insel Air International B.V. ' is an airline based in Willemstad, Curaçao. It has Hato International Airport in Curaçao as its home base. Insel is German for island...

     (Curaçao)
  • KLM (Netherlands)
  • Meta Linhas Aéreas (Brazil)
  • Surinam Airways
    Surinam Airways
    Surinam Airways is the national airline of Suriname, based in Paramaribo. It operates regional and long-haul scheduled passenger services. Its hub is at Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport.On 16 September 2008, Surinam Airways had 400 employees....

     (Aruba, Brazil (Belem), Netherlands, Miami)

Notable natives

  • Jules Ajodhia
    Jules Ajodhia
    Jules Rattankoemar Ajodhia is a Surinamese politician.From 1988 to 1990, he was Justice Minister. He was also twice vice president of Suriname.The first term was from 16 September 1991 to 15 September 1996...

     (b.1945), politician, poet, playwright. Served as Justice Minister (1988-1990) and twice as Vice President (1991-1996, 2000-2005).
  • Bram Behr
    Bram Behr
    Abraham Maurits "Bram" Behr was a Surinamese communist. He was best known as a propagandist and journalist. He published the pamphlet De Rode Surinamer and edited the weekly newspaper Mokro...

     (1951-1982), communist, journalist, propagandist.
  • Desire Bouterse (b.1945), 9th and current President.
  • Ronnie Brunswijk
    Ronnie Brunswijk
    Ronnie Brunswijk is a Surinamese rebel leader, politician, business man, and convict. After having been the personal body guard of Desi Bouterse in the early 1980s, he turned against his former boss by forming the Jungle Commando which fought the Bouterse regime "on behalf of the Maroon...

     (b.1962), politician and founder of the rebel group Jungle Commando
    Jungle Commando
    The Jungle Commando was a guerrilla commando group in Suriname. It was founded by Ronnie Brunswijk in 1986 to ensure equal rights for Suriname's minority Maroon population.group was formed after the troops Suriname commit mass murder against 35 people Moiwana Village, near Moengo, after the ...

    .
  • Fred Derby (1939-2001), politician and trade unionist.
  • Johan Ferrier
    Johan Ferrier
    Johan Henri Eliza Ferrier was a Surinamese politician who served as the 1st President of Suriname from November 25, 1975, until August 13, 1980. He was that country's last governor before independence, from 1968 to 1975, and first president after it gained independence from the Netherlands...

     (1910-2010), first President of Suriname (1975-1980).
  • Otto Huiswoud
    Otto Huiswoud
    Otto Eduard Geradus Majelia Huiswoud was a Suriname-born political activist who was a charter member of the Communist Party of America. Huiswoud is regarded as the first black member of the American communist movement...

     (1893-1961), charter member of the Communist Party of America.
  • Harry Kisoensingh
    Harry Kisoensingh
    Harry Kisoensingh , was chairman of the Union of Progressive Surinamese and was a Surinamese educator.He was vice chairman of the DNA from 1996 to 2000, while being in the opposition....

     (1954-2008), educator and chairman of the Union For Progressive Suriname.
  • Lou Lichtveld
    Lou Lichtveld
    Lodewijk 'Lou' Lichtveld was a Surinamese politician, playwright, and poet who wrote under the pseudonym "Albert Helman" in the Netherlands....

     (1903-1996), politician, poet, playwright.
  • Jan Ernst Matzeliger
    Jan Ernst Matzeliger
    Jan Ernst Matzeliger was an African-American inventor in the shoe industry.Matzeliger was born in Paramaribo . His father was a Dutch engineer and his mother a black Surinamese slave...

     (1852-1889), inventor of shoe manufacturing machinery.
  • Johan Adolf Pengel, (1916-1970), politician, Prime Minister (1963-1969), namesake of Suriname's primary international airport.
  • Pretaapnarian Radhakishun (1954-2001), politician, Prime Minister (1986-1987).
  • Ram Sardjoe
    Ram Sardjoe
    Ramdien Sardjoe is a Surinamese politician and served as Vice President of Suriname from 2005 to 2010. He is a member of the Progressive Reform Party .-References:...

     (b.1935), politician, Vice President (2005-2010).
  • Paul Somohardjo
    Paul Somohardjo
    Paul Slamet Somohardjo is a Surinamese politician of Javanese descent.In 30 June 2005, Somohardjo was appointed as the speaker of the National Assembly. He is also chairman of the Pertjajah Luhur party.-References:...

     (b.1943), politician, current Speaker of the National Assembly.
  • Farida van den Stoom (b.1974), actress and model.
  • Ronald Venetiaan
    Ronald Venetiaan
    Ronald Runaldo Venetiaan served as the 6th and 8th President of Suriname. His first term as president ran from 1991 to 1996 after which he lost in the elections to Jules Wijdenbosch...

     (b.1936), mathematician, politician, 6th and 8th President.
  • Jules Wijdenbosch
    Jules Wijdenbosch
    Jules Albert Wijdenbosch is a politician in Suriname. He was a member of the National Democratic Party, which held absolute power in Suriname during the 1980s. He was Prime Minister from April 1987 until January 1988, Vice President from January 1991 until September 1991, and President from...

     (b.1941), politician, served as Prime Minister (1987-1988), Vice President (1991) and President (1996-2000).

See also



  • South America Life Quality Rankings


External links


Website President and National Assembly


Related information

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK