Where The Hell Is Suriname
Where the hell is Suriname? Is it a country? Or the hottest restaurant in town?
I wouldn’t have known until this girl (in the picture) came along. Her ancestors came from that place and yes… SURINAME IS A COUNTRY!
Suriname is the smallest country in South America with a population less than 600,000 (5% of Metro Manila’s population).
Despite its small size, Suriname is one of the worlds most ethnically diverse countries. No group forms a majority, and yet there is very little ethnic tension between them.
The largest group are the East Indians, followed by Maroons, Creoles, Javenese, Chinese, Levantines and Jews.
This is a legacy of centuries of Dutch rule, which entailed successive periods of forced, contracted, or voluntary migration by various nationalities and ethnic groups from around the world.
But what I find more interesting is the country’s safeguarded nature. Nowadays, in most countries the ancient forests have long been cut down or reduced to smaller sizes. But in Suriname this is not the case; about 80% of the land is still covered by rainforests.
This has led to large wrap of the country being the designated as nature reserves that are overflowing with different kinds of wildlife.
Most tourists visit Suriname for the biodiversity of the Amazonian rain forests in the south of the country, which are noted for their flora and fauna.
There are also many waterfalls throughout the country. Raleighvallen, or Raleigh Falls, is a 56,000-hectare (140,000-acre) nature reserve on the Coppename River, rich in bird life.
Brazil (south of Suriname) is one of the 62 visa-free countries that we Filipinos can travel to. And while you’re at it, might as well visit Suriname and get to know not just the vast swaths of tropical rainforest but also check their history like their Dutch colonial architecture and their melting pot ethnic diversity.
It surely nice to meet new people. Without her, I won’t be aware that this beautiful country is on our map.