Suriname lies on the north central cost of South America, bordered by Guyana in the west, Brazil in the south, French Guyana in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the north.
Suriname covers 163.820 sq. kilometres with Paramaribo as its capital. The temperature fluctuates from 21˚ to 35˚ C and the country is located outside the hurricane zone.
Suriname has a multiracial population with a diversity of cultural expressions. The number of inhabitants is approximately 500.000, 250.000 of which live in Paramaribo. The original inhabitants are the Amerindians. The ethnic variety finds its origin in the colonial period, in which the Negroes were imported from Africa as slaves, the Hindustanis, Javanese and Chinese as indentured labourers, while Lebanese, Jews and Europeans settled down as well. Because of integration between the various ethnic groups of the population, various types developed, the so called ‘melting pot’.
In addition to the official language, i.e. Dutch, Surinamese or Sranan Tongo is spoken. Sarnami-hindi, Javanese and Chinese are spoken in ethnic groups as are the various languages of the Amerindians and the Maroons (descendants of slaves who fled and settled in the interior). Besides, the Surinamese get on well with the English language.
The road system has a total length of 9.000 km, the largest part of which is situated in the northern part of the country. Suriname further has to its disposal 1.500 km of navigable rivers and canals, an International Airport (Johan Adolf Pengel Airport) and 35 airstrips. Public transport on land is carried out by the State bus service and the private bus companies, the so-called “Soul busses”. Fixed ferry services are being maintained on the Suriname, the Marowijne, the Saramacca and the Corantijn River.
Suriname has left-handed traffic, dating back to the Napoleonic period when Suriname was under British interim government.
The most important economic activities are: 1. the export of: alumina, oil, rice, shrimps, lumber, gold and bananas; 2. the mining of: bauxite, oil and gold.
Eco – tourism is a growing sector.
Currency: Suriname dollar (SRD) equals 100 cents. Exchange rate: US$ 1,- = SRD 3,35.
National holidays: New Years Day; Holi Phagwa (Hindu); Good Friday; 1st and 2nd Easter; Id-Ul-Fitr (Muslim); Labor day; Liberty day; Amerindians day; Independence day; 1st and 2nd Christmas.
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Established: the Netherlands, French Guyana, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, Dominica, Curaçao and Bonaire, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines