November 25, 2009

Independence Day in Suriname

On this date in 1975, Suriname became a fully independent country.

Random Interesting Facts

  • Suriname is the smallest independent nation in South America, but it is more than four times larger than the country that ruled it for centuries, the Netherlands.
Although Suriname is much bigger in area than its colonial ruler, its population is much smaller. The Netherlands has a population of about 16 million people, and Suriname has fewer than half a million people.
1. If Suriname has an area of 163,821 square kilometers and 472,000 people...
and the Netherlands
has an area of 41,526 square km and 16,558,674 people...
what is the population density of each nation?
  • Suriname is one of the few places in the world that has a (Muslim) mosque and a (Jewish) synagogue next to each other. This is in the capital city of Parmaribo, and the mosque and synagogue often shares a parking lot that lies between them.
2. What is another place in the world that has a mosque next to a synagogue?
a. Australia
b. Bulgaria

c. France



  • According to Wikipedia, about a quarter of the population lives on about $2 (U.S. dollars) a day.
3. How much does it cost to survive in most cities in the U.S.?
  • Suriname lacks a true national culture but instead is very ethnically diverse. The capital, Paramaribo, has a mixture that includes Caribbean natives, black people descended from former slaves, Dutch and English people descended from former colonizers, and Indonesian people. (Indonesia was also once a Dutch colony.)
4. Which of these languages is Suriname's official language?
a. English
b. Arawakan
c. Hindi
d. Dutch
  • Galibi Nature Reserve is famous for its sea turtles, which come to shore to nest in the springtime.
5. Sand temperature of the beaches where sea turtle eggs are laid determine...
a. the sex of the
developing turtles
b. the number of eggs laid

c. the number of eggs that hatch


  • Maroon cultures have been created by runaway slaves in many parts of the Americas, including Suriname. One language spoken by Maroons in Suriname, Saramaccan, is a creole language--that is, a mixture of two or more languages.
6. What languages does Saramaccan combine with Dutch?
a. English
b. Portuguese
c. African, such as Akan
d. all of the above





ANSWERS: 1. Suriname's density is about 3 people per square kilometer (almost 8 people per square mile), and the Netherlands' density is about 400 people per square kilometer (more than 1,000people per square mile)! 2. (b) Bulgaria 3. It costs about $100 a day to survive in many places in the U.S. 4. (d) Dutch 5. (a) the sex of the developing turtles 6. (d) all of the above


Learn about sea turtles here.


Play a map game about the Americas.


Print free outline maps.


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