Surinam

Surinam
Lush jungles teem with wildlife; diverse cultures next to each other in the sultry heat.
With a buzzing capital full of Dutch colonial architecture and a wild interior riddled with rivers, waterfalls and wildlife, exotic Suriname is an adventure traveler's dream. Its extraordinary ethnic diversity makes for phenomenal, spicy cuisine and friendly, open-minded people.
It's not always easy to get around this river-heavy, forest-dense country, and the mix of languages can make it hard to communicate. But, with a little perseverance, travelers will be richly rewarded as they stroll the streets of gorgeous Paramaribo or watch giant turtles emerge from the sea.
Highlights
- The Cola creek with its natural black water
- Paramaribo with its multi ethnicity and Dutch colonial buildings
- Beautiful inland rainforests
Geography
Suriname, formerly the colony of Netherlands Guiana or Dutch Guiana, is a country in Northern South America. It has a North Atlantic Ocean coastline in the north and is surrounded by French Guiana to the east, Brazil to the south and Guyana to the west. It is the smallest independent country on South American continent. The relatively small population lives mostly along the coast.
Language
Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes referred to as Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Sarnami (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese, Chinese(Mandarin and Cantonese)
Money
Suriname uses the Suriname dollar (SRD) as currency, which is roughly a third of a US dollar. One can exchange currency at all banks as well as most cambio's. Automatic teller machines (ATM) are also available in Suriname. The atm's of the RBTT bank accept most international bank cards. Accommodation and food is relatively on the cheap side. Retail prices for clothing, gifts, etc. are similar to most of United States of America.
Climate
Suriname has a tropical humid climate with dry and rainy seasons. The short rainy season in December and January, the long rainy season from April to July.

The most pleasant times to visit Suriname are the dry seasons; the short dry season from February to April and the long dry season from August to November. Throughout the year the average daily temperature varies between 21 and 32 C.Suriname lies outside the hurricane zone and the most extreme wheather condition is the "sibibusi" (which means forest broom), a heavy rainshower.
Gastronomy
Because of the ethnic diversity there a variety of exotic food available. Indian (specially roti with chicken), Chinese, Javanese (Indonesian), Creole.
Although Indonesian food might be appropriate, the Indonesian people we have in Suriname are mostly if not all from the island Java. And Java has its own cuisine which is different from Indonesian food. Furthermore as you might have guessed the food has evolved to a more Surinamese culture and is thus (very) different from food you'd find in Java. Nevertheless it tastes great and you should try it. The most popular places where you would find such food is in 'warung's' Lelydorp on your way from the airport to Paramaribo, or Blauwgrond in Paramaribo, and since recently near the bridge in Commewijne.
Chinese food tastes great everywhere in the world. Suriname is no exception. Good restaurants can be found in Paramaribo
East Indian food is less spicy compared to original Indian food, but still a well appreciated meal. International menu are available in the more expensive downtown restaurant and hotels in Paramaribo.
Suriname wouldn't be the tropical paradise it is without its a wide variety of great fruit juices. Even the well known orange juice is a sensational taste, but do not hesitate to try great tropical fruits like passion fruit (known locally as 'markoesa') or soursap, better known as Guanábana (locally known as 'zuurzak'). Since locals have an appetite for sweet, sugar is added to most juices you buy in bottles. For pure juice it is best to ask for fresh made juice.
The Javanese have a pink drink called dawet, which consists of coconut milk. Try to get a local 'east-indian' to make you a glass of lassi if you have the chance.
History
The first Dutch expeditions to the Guiana region took place in 1597–98, and the first Dutch colony, on Essequibo Island in present-day Guyana, was founded in 1616. The Dutch West India Company was founded in 1621 to exploit the territory. The Dutch hold on the east coast was interrupted by English and French attacks and by a slave insurrection (1762–63). The Treaty of Breda gave all English territory in Guiana to the Dutch, but in 1815 the Congress of Vienna awarded the area that is now Guyana to Britain while reaffirming the Dutch hold on Dutch Guiana (present-day Suriname). The Netherlands granted Dutch Guiana a parliament in 1866.
In 1954, Suriname officially became an internally autonomous part of the kingdom of the Netherlands, and in 1975 it became independent. Just prior to independence, some 100,000 Surinamese, mainly of Asian descent, migrated to the Netherlands.
Religion
The three major religions in Surinam are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. About 80% of the Hindostani are Hindus, 15% are Muslims, and 5% are Christians. Most Creoles are Christians with the largest denominations being Roman Catholicism and the Moravian Church. Most Javanese are Muslims. Even though most Amerindians and many Maroons are baptized, many of these groups also adhere to their traditional religious beliefs. The most important alternative system for Maroons and Creoles is Winti, a traditional African religion that was forbidden until the 1970s. There is no official religion in Surinam, and official holidays include holidays from several different religions.
Culture
The culture involves craft, biography, cyberculture, cinema, sports, entertainment, folklore, gastronomy, hobbies, games, mysticism, mythology, occultism, religion and tourism.

The ethnic mix of this country highlighted the religious beliefs of the people. The biggest influences come from customs Catholics, though there is a strong tendency Hindu. The development of local arts decreases over time due to the fact that a large proportion of the population erudite live outside the country (mainly the Netherlands), due to better economic opportunities and also because of military repression. However, can appreciate sculptures that express the culture of indigenous and black people.
Music
Suriname is a South American country, a former colony of the Netherlands with strong ties to that country. The country is well-known for kaseko music, and for having an Indo-Caribbean tradition.
Kaseko is probably derived from the expression casser le corps (break the body), which was used during slavery to indicate a very swift dance. Kaseko is a fusion of numerous popular and folk styles derived from Europe, Africa and the Americas. It is rhythmically complex, with percussion instruments including skratji (a very large bass drum) and snare drums, as well as saxophone, trumpet and occasionally trombone. Singing can be both solo and choir. Songs are typically call-and-response, as are Creole folk styles from the area, such as winti and kawina.
Kaseko evolved in the 1930s during festivities that used large bands, especially brass bands, and was called Bigi Pokoe (big drum music). Following World War 2, jazz, calypso and other importations became popular, while rock and roll from the United States soon left its own influence in the form of electrified instruments.
Wildlife
Suriname Flora and Fauna are diversified and predominant because of the presence of the rain forest in Suriname. Suriname contains various species of flowers and water lilies and the orchids are the most common and famous one. The tropical shrubs of the Suriname include hibiscus, bougainvillea and the oleander. The Suriname rain forest consists of 180 species of mammals and the variety of reptiles in these forest are tortoise, caiman, iguana and various snakes. White egret is the common and the popular bird of the Suriname Rainforest. Suriname has always attracted scientist all over the world due to the presence of exceptional species like blue poison, dart frog, cock-of -the -rock.

Flora and Fauna of Suriname are so common because approximately 80% of the Suriname comes under the tropical rain forest and it’s more than in any part of Central America. Suriname has always been the travelers’ attraction and it’s due to the rare but very pleasant combination of Suriname Flora and Fauna.
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