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Wednesday 26th July
Suriname Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Suriname is in northern South America. It is bordered by Guyana, the North Atlantic Ocean, French Guiana and Brazil.

Paramaribo is the capital city and Suriname's main port.

The terrain consists mostly of rolling hills. There is a narrow coastal plain with areas of swamps. Rivers include the Corantijn, Marowijne, Suriname and Coppename.

The climate of Suriname is tropical, with dry and rainy seasons.

Environment
A large percentage of Suriname is covered with tropical rainforest. The Central Suriname Nature Reserve, one of the ten largest tropical forest reserves in the region, was inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2000. Brownsberg Nature Park, established in 1970, is a National Park.

STINASU (the Foundation for Nature Conservation in Suriname), a semi-governmental organization, was established in 1969 to support scientific research, environmental education and nature tourism.

Animals found in Suriname are the anteater, giant armadillo, capybara, wild boar, howler monkey, spider monkey, ocelot, tapir and jaguar. There are about seven hundred species of birds including the hummingbird, toucan, macaw, flamingo and ibis. The Galibi Nature Reserve is a nesting place for sea turtles.

Architecture
Dutch Colonial architecture can be seen in the old centre of Paramaribo, a World Heritage site. The Historic Inner City dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries also includes buildings of English and French origin.

The Presidential Palace of the Republic of Suriname is built in the Dutch Colonial style. The cathedral of St. Peter and St Paul, constructed in the nineteenth century, is said to be one of the largest wooden structures in South America.

Population
The population of Suriname was estimated at 491,989 in 2011.

Languages
Dutch is the official language. English is widely spoken. Other languages include Sranantongo (Surinamese), Sarnami Hindustani and Suriname Javanese.

Religion
Around half of the people are Christians. Other religions represented in Suriname are Hinduism and Islam. Some of the population follow indigenous beliefs.

Food
The cuisine of Suriname reflects the ethnic groups in the country: Afro-Surinamese (Creole), Amerindian, East Indian, Indonesian, Chinese and European.

Soups are made from ingredients such as chicken and peanuts. Chicken served with rice is a staple dish. Indian rotis are popular. Salted fish is eaten with hot pepper sauce. Vegetables include cassava, cabbage, green beans, plantains, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

A variety of fruits are available: bananas, coconuts, jackfruit, mangoes, melons, oranges, papayas, pineapples and soursop.

Fruit juices are produced. Parbo is the locally brewed beer.

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