Suriname is a small country on the northeastern coast of South America defined by vast swaths of tropical rainforest, Dutch colonial architecture and a melting-pot culture.
On its Atlantic coast is the capital, Paramaribo, where palm gardens grow near Fort Zeelandia, a 17th-century trading post.
Paramaribo is also home to Saint Peter and Paul Basilica, a towering wood cathedral consecrated in 1885.
The great ethnic diversity of Suriname contributes to its rich culture which includes numerous celebrations and festivals all year round.
The Surinamese celebrate Holi, Christmas, Javanese Arrival Day, Indian Arrival Day and Day of the Maroons.
Others are Diwali, Eid ul-Fitr, Good Friday, and many more secular and religious festivals and ceremonies.
Suriname is one of the world’s very few locations where a Jewish synagogue is located next to a mosque.
The country is also home to worship places of other religions like Hindu temples and Christian churches.
All religious groups in the country co-exist peacefully and religious tolerance is one thing among others that Suriname teaches the world.
The Surinamese flag was adopted in 1975.
In the centre is a yellow star that symbolises the unity of the country, its golden future and the spirit of sacrifice required to achieve that goal.
Behind the star are stripes: green denotes the country’s jungles and agricultural land, white represents justice and freedom and the red embodies the progressive spirit of the young country.
Although Suriname is located in South America, it was colonized by the Netherlands for a long time.
The inhabitants learned to speak Dutch and many of them even moved to the Netherlands when Suriname became independent in 1975.
Suriname still maintains close international relations with the Netherlands and uses Dutch as its official language.
Toad with no teeth and no tongue
The rich rainforests of Suriname are home to an abundance of interesting flora and fauna, an interesting fact about Suriname.
One of the strangest creatures found on its land is called the Surinam toad.
This amphibian has a very flat shape and is disguised to resemble an old leaf or a flat rock.
Each of its fingers has a small, star-shaped tip which is why it’s also called the star-fingered toad.
It has very tiny eyes and a wide mouth with no teeth or tongue, so it eats by using its large mouth to swallow prey whole.
The only cinema in the tiny country, TBL Cinemas in the Hermitage Mall is a popular attraction for locals, a fun fact about Suriname.
The cinema plays the latest movies with the Dutch translation and also holds events and community activities related to movies.
Though Suriname is rich in nature, culture, and community, many Surinamese people struggle financially.
More than 70% of the country’s population is below the poverty line.
This means that most of the country’s inhabitants have difficulty affording basic necessities such as shelter, food, and water.
Corruption and political instability contribute negatively to the economy of Suriname.
However, the country hopes to change in the coming years through help from other nations and potential government reforms.
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