The size of Suriname in terms of land area does not define the number of the beautiful living creatures on it, because once you visit this place, you would have the chance to experience nature at its best. It is the smallest country in the South American Continent, but it has the bounteous beauty that some big cities could not match. Since some parts of the country are facing the North Atlantic Ocean, you could expect more locals to inhabit the shore lines. This also gives the country the opportunity to build mangrove swamps, housing different birds and monkeys. They also have Eco Resorts where you could dive in!
Important and Interesting Facts about Suriname
- Suriname lies on the northeast coast of South America, with Guyana to the west, French Guiana to the east, and Brazil to the south. It is about one-tenth larger than Michigan.
- The principal rivers are the Corantijn on the Guyana border, the Marowijne in the east, and the Suriname, on which the capital city of Paramaribo is situated.
- Although Suriname is an independent nation it still retains strong links with the Netherlands, and similarly to the Netherlands the national sport is football. While the Surinamese national side may not be particularly famous, several of the most famous Dutch footballers, including Ruud Gullit and Nigel de Jong are of Surinamese descent.
- The vast majority of the territory of Suriname is made up of rainforest, and this has led to large swathes of the country being designated as nature reserves. Among the species that can be spotted around the nature reserves of Suriname are Howler Monkeys, Toucans and Jaguars.
- The main export of Suriname is bauxite, which is an aluminum ore that is exported to several major countries across the world, contributing around fifteen per cent of the country’s GDP. However, industries such as ecotourism are also growing, while other major exports include bananas, shrimp and rice.
- Although there is quite a diverse population with a range of different religions found in Suriname, there is actually very little conflict between the different religious groups in the country. Paramaribo is one of the few capitals in the world where it is possible to see a mosque located adjacent to a synagogue, which is a sign of this great tolerance.
- Suriname is the smallest country in South America, both in terms of its geographical size and its population.
- The Anaula Nature Resort invites you to an unforgettable nature and culture happening. The virgin rain forest, the wild rapids and the exquisite flora and fauna make up the unique setting of this resort. It is situated on an island in the Upper Suriname River, at a base of the Ferulassi Falls.
- The powerful rapids have been running unabated for centuries. An incredible variety of birds, insects, and other wild animals play a never ending rainforest symphony. The evergreen imposing tree and plants, the canopy of the tropical rainforest provide us with a breathtaking spectacle. Arapahu is situated in the Southwest of Suriname in the Corantijn River and it offers its guests an unspoiled scenery.
- Awarradam jungle lodge is built on an idyllic island in the Gran Rio River, hidden away in the Amazon rainforest at the foot of the Awarradam rapids. From here a half hour boat trip will take you to most of the downstream villages of the Saramaccans, descendants of the runaway slaves.
- In a dazzling tropical landscape on the banks of the Suriname River BERGENDAL offers you countless opportunities and have a luxurious time at that. Nature, culture and history are all part of every activity at BERGENDAL and it fills every guest anew with a feeling of appreciation and respect for our valuable ecological and cultural heritage.
- Colakreek Recreation Park is a nature bathing resort in the middle of a beautiful savannah landscape. An ideal place for children as well as adults to relax in the cool Coca Cola colored water of the creek. Huts and vacation houses can be rented for overnight stays. Colakreek is only at a ten minute drive from the JAP International Airport
Cool and Funny Facts about Suriname
- Suriname is rumored to have had the highest per capita “consumption” of fireworks in the world. Pyromaniacs begin shooting off “bombel” (fireworks) a few days before Christmas and the late night explosions continue well into the first month of the new year. On New Year’s Day the stores in downtown Paramaribo shoot off long rows of little red-papered fireworks call “pagara”.
- Suriname is also rumored to house the most cars per capita in the entire world. The average middle income family owns three or more vehicles (mixed families tend to share housing). Cars are also often left abandoned amidst the jungle vines that inhibit undeveloped landscapes, or on the side of the road.
- Suriname is rumored to have some of the purest and tastiest drinking water. The tap water is clean and drinkable in most urban areas.
- The Surinam Toad, also known as the “Pica Pica”, has some seemingly unique reproductive practices. The female raises tadpoles to mini toad size in the spongy skin of her back and doesn’t have a tongue or teeth.
- That adults below the age of 30 cannot get married in Suriname without written permission from their parents.
- One cannot purchase condo units in a high rise building in Suriname. Only land plots are available for purchase. If you want a condo, you must build the high rise on your own property or buy the whole property from someone else.
- You must see your doctor to get a “verwijsbrief” (reference/permission letter) to see a specialist and get coverage through your insurance company to pay for the visit. Specialists are a broad category of doctors, some of which include: eye doctors, gynecologists, oncologists, and dermatologists. Follow-up visits to the specialist also need “verwijsbriefs.” Dental insurance is a product in itself. It is therefore not necessary to get a reference letter from your doctor to see a dentist.
- If you rent a house and purchase rental insurance in Suriname, you can get coverage for wind damage to the roof, even though you don’t own the house.
- Some of the traffic lights at large intersections are solar powered. Way to go green, Suriname!
- The second grade science book approved by the MINOV (Ministry of Education and the People’s Development) has an illustrated lesson on “junkies”. Kids are taught early on what junkies are and how not to become one.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Suriname
- Suriname’s earliest inhabitants were the Surinen Indians, after whom the country is named. By the 16th century they had been supplanted by other South American Indians.
- Spain explored Suriname in 1593, but by 1602 the Dutch began to settle the land, followed by the English. The English transferred sovereignty to the Dutch in 1667 (the Treaty of Breda) in exchange for New Amsterdam (New York).
- Colonization was confined to a narrow coastal strip, and until the abolition of slavery in 1863, African slaves furnished the labor for the coffee and sugarcane plantations. Escaped African slaves fled into the interior, reconstituted their western African culture, and came to be called “Bush Negroes” by the Dutch. After 1870, East Indian laborers were imported from British India and Javanese from the Dutch East Indies.
- The Indians labourers were replaced by people from another Dutch colony: Indonesia. About 33,000 Indonesian came to Suriname between 1900 and 1940. Like the Hindustanis most of them left the plantations after fulfilling their contract and started a small farm. The plantations lost their importance for the economy of the country. For example, the number of sugar plantations decreased from 80 in 1863 to 4 in 1940.
- Known as Dutch Guiana, the colony was integrated into the kingdom of the Netherlands in 1948. Two years later Dutch Guiana was granted home rule, except for foreign affairs and defense. After race rioting over unemployment and inflation, the Netherlands granted Suriname complete independence on Nov. 25, 1975.
- The nation’s many immigrants have left culinary traces. The only truly national dish is chicken and rice. In Paramaribo, Javanese and Chinese cuisine and restaurants are popular. In the countryside, breakfast consists of rice (for the Javanese), roti (Hindostani), or bread (Creoles). The main meal is eaten at 3 P.M. , after offices have closed. After a siesta, sandwiches and leftovers are eaten. Drinking water and street food are generally safe.
- . One of the most distinctive foods that you can enjoy in Suriname is Pom, which reveals the blend of cultures that have helped to form this country, with Jewish and Creole origins. Pom is a dish that contains quite a bit of meat, which makes it a dish for a special occasion in Surinamese culture, and is usually reserved for a birthday party or similar celebration. The dish is made in a high sided dish with layers of the local tayer plant sandwiching chicken pieces, and then covered in a sauce made with tomatoes, onions, nutmeg and oil before being cooked in the oven.
- A typical, mainly urban Creole, expression is “no span” (“Keep cool; don’t worry”), symbolizing the generally relaxed atmosphere. The population has a reputation for being hospitable, and most houses do not have a knocker or a bell. Shoes often are taken off when one goes inside. Guests usually are expected to partake in a meal. A casual conversation is initiated by a handshake, and good friends are greeted with a brasa (hug). Children are expected to respect adults, use the formal form of address when speaking to them, and be silent when adults speak.
- Painting is the most fully developed graphic art. The most popular art form is music. Popular among Creoles are kaseko and kawina music, originally sung and played at the plantations. Among Hindostani, the songs from Hindi movies and videos are favorites. A few traditional Javanese gamelan orchestras perform traditional Javanese songs.
- Although many marriage partners are of the same ethnic group, mixed marriages do take place in Paramaribo. In traditional Hindostani families in the agricultural districts, parents still select partners for their children. Weddings can be very lavish. Living together without being married is common but is not acceptable to traditional Hindostani, among whom the bride is expected to be a virgin.
- Despite economic constraints, public expenditure on education remains relatively high. Higher education is free. Education is compulsory between ages six and twelve. Between ages six and seventeen, school enrollment ratio is officially about 85 percent but the dropout rate is high. The adult literacy rate was 93 percent in 1995.