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Thursday 22nd March
Guyana Information - Page 2
Early inhabitants of Guyana were Arawak and Carib Amerindian tribes.

The Dutch were the first Europeans to colonize the country. A plantation economy was established, with slaves from West Africa working in the sugar and coffee plantations.

The French and British also founded settlements.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century Britain captured Dutch Colonies; in 1831 Guyana became a British Colony.

Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire in the 1830s. Slave labour was replaced by indentured workers, mainly from India.

Guyana gained autonomy in 1961 and independence was achieved in 1966. In 1970 Guyana became a Republic within the [British] Commonwealth.

The services sector in Guyana accounts for the highest percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The agriculture and extractive industries are also significant sectors of the economy.

Agricultural products are sugarcane, rice, fruit, vegetables, beef, pork, poultry and dairy products. The fishing industry provides shrimps for export.

Industries include bauxite, gold mining, timber, textiles, sugar, food processing and beverages. (2011)

All ethnic groups in Guyana are represented in the arts. Exhibitions of the visual arts and displays of dance can be seen in the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown.

Amerindian Heritage Month in September celebrates the culture of the indigenous people of the region.

The most well known Guyanese author is E. R. Braithwaite who wrote the novel "To Sir With Love" which was made into a film starring Sidney Poitier.

Cricket is the national sport of Guyana. International cricket is played at the Providence Stadium. Other sports played include football, volleyball, basketball and tennis.

Christmas, Easter and all religious festivals are celebrated. Independence Day is on 26 May (1966 from the UK) and Republic Day is on 23 February (1970).

News from Guyana is available from Newslink.

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