• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Relationships, Marriage, & Family Life in Suriname

Due to the variation of people, cultures, races, and religions in Suriname, the dating, marriage, and family life in the country is quite diverse. Many of the ethnic Europeans view dating in a very liberal way as young men and women are free to date and marry whoever they please. For the ethnic Indians dating is more restricted (or even arranged) as many parents try to guarantee their child marry a person they feel would make a good spouse; this may mean finding someone in the same social class, economic class, or someone in the same "caste" as themselves. For the many other groups of people in the country, dating, marriage, and family life also differ as some tend to be closer to the European model, while others better reflect the Indian model.

Many couples will move in together or have children prior to an official wedding, especially the ethnic Europeans. Rarely will Indians move in together prior to marriage unless the woman is moving in with her future husband's family. The wedding itself varies greatly in Suriname as some people get married in a church, a temple, a mosque, or even in a private garden or another location. The ceremony tends to follow the traditions of the couple and their families as Christian, Hindi, and Muslim prayers are often said and symbolic acts are undertaken by varying groups. Most commonly, marriages in Suriname are between two people of similar ethnicity and socio-economic standing so traditions for both people tend to be similar. In weddings that cross these cultural and religious lines ceremonies often combine aspects of both cultures and religions.

Traditionally, husbands have held the role of providing for their family financially as they have historically made most major decisions while the wife tends to maintain the home and was the primary caregiver. This is changing among the ethnic European population as many women now work and, as divorce is more common today, some homes only have a single parent. Among the Indian population these traditional roles are more pronounced today, but even in these families there are changes, most commonly due to women having careers. Like nearly every other factor, the number of children a couple has is individual as some couples may choose not to have kids, while another family may have five kids, but the average is about two kids per woman.

This page was last updated: November, 2013