Suriname is a South American country, on the north shore. It has a population of 410,000 (1992). The GDP is $472M ($3400 per capita) Suriname is 47% Christian, 27% Hindu, and 19% Muslim. The Hindu and Muslim components stem from the fact that 37% of Suriname's residents came from India. Dutch is the official language of Suriname, but a dialect of Hindi is widely spoken as well. The country is bordered by Guyana, French Guiana, and Brazil.

Former Dutch colony independent since 1975, with the fun-to-say capital of Paramaribo. Much of its economy is bauxite mining and refining aluminum from the bauxite.

Nestled in South America, between Guiana and Guyana, lies a country with the lush greenery of the rain forests and the intense red of uneven dirt roads. In the depths of the forest the echoes of tropical birds such as parrots, toucans, hummingbirds and tanagers can be heard. Suriname's history is 3000 years older than Christ, and filled with the hunting and fishing of the Arowak tribe, a nomadic people who were almost wiped out by European disease and slave traders.

Here, in today's world, a young girl of African, Indonesian, East Indian or some other decent wears the famous fajalobi flower behind an ear as her lover whispers sweet nothings in Dutch or perhaps in Srana Tongo she will hear "mi o si" instead. Interludes are better planned at night anyway as the daily temperature of this tropical land varies between 23 and 31 Centegrades. A moonlit trip up river in a korjaal navigated by a skilled Maroon might be one romantic option. With a shortage of car parts, and a resulting high cost for taxis, a long drive on the East-West Highway from Albina to Nieuw Nickerie is certainly out of the question.

The lovers can rest assured that no matter where in the ten districts they live, they will get an equal education between them. As long as they have enough surinamese guilders(SRG) to pay for their schooling past age 12. Of course, if she's not careful the young girl may find herself caught in slavery for prostitution. And with no laws to protect her, the young suitor may find himself celebrating Holi Phagwah alone. It would be sad, would it not, if the two could not sing their country's anthem together again?

Opo kondroman oen opo
.
Sranan gron e kari oen
.
Wans ope tata komopo
.
We moes seti kondre boen
.
Stre de f'stre wi no sa frede
.
Gado de wi fesi man
.
Heri libi te na dede
.
Wi sa feti gi Sranan
.

Luckily for them, with women elected to the National Assembly and a woman as Minister of Regional Development and another as Deputy Minister of Social Affairs in the Cabinet...things are looking up for them.


References:
Home Page for Suriname, http://www.sr.net/srnet/InfoSurinam
Gateway Suriname, http://www.surinam.net
Suriname Info Desk, http://www.surinfo.org/indexeng.htm

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