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SurinameSuriname is likely named after an indigenous group of people in the region known as the "Surinen."


Suriname's earliest people were very dependent on the seas as most people lived along the coasts. The inland forests prevented much settlement, although people did live in these areas. The cultures among these people varied as they spoke different languages, ate different foods, and had different lifestyles. With the later arrival of the Europeans the culture and lifestyle in Suriname has vastly changed.

European settlement of the region came slowly as the forests prevented agriculture to a great degree, although the coastal lands were used. As foreign power expanded and crop growth became the central industry in the region the British began slavery to work the fields. The first people enslaved were the indigenous people, but later Africans were also used as slaves. This essentially destroyed the indigenous culture and lifestyle, although aspects of this life were incorporated into the African culture and many indigenous people remained free in the forested inland.

The British influenced the culture in a number of ways, but the greatest impact was in the large numbers of African slaves; the African population quickly outnumbered the British and European population in the region, but since the British controlled the lands the culture was altered to mix there British and African influences.

The Dutch took over the lands next, but the slavery didn't change. However, over this time a number of slaves escaped the plantations and fled into the forests. These people, called maroons, created a new culture and lifestyle. With the end of slavery new cultures were added to the country as immigration, primarily from Asia's Far East and Southern Asia, took place. These people, then and today, maintain many aspects of their home cultures and lifestyles.

Today uniformity in ethnicity, culture, and lifestyle is rare. Each ethnic group tends to remain tied to their traditional cultures and lifestyles, including the Indians, Chinese, Indonesians, Africans, and Maroons. These people speak different languages, dress differently, follow different religions, and have differing political opinions, making Suriname a very diverse, but divided country.

Suriname's contains a large yellow star, which represents unity of all ethnic groups and is yellow to symbolize the light the nation draws as they work towards a golden future. The red on the flag is for progress and love, the green represents hope and fertility, and white is for peace, justice, and freedom.

Name: Republic of Suriname
Independence: November 25, 1975
Capital: Paramaribo
Currency: Suriname Guilder
Population: 566,846 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Hindustani, Creole, & Others
Language: Dutch
Religion: Hindi, Muslim, Catholic, & Protestant

Information for Suriname was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks