Suriname, republic on the northeastern coast of South America, bordered by Guyana on the west, Brazil on the south, and French Guiana on the east. The capital is Paramaribo.
Land and climate
The country consists largely of unexplored forested highlands and the flat Atlantic coast. The climate is tropical, with heavy rains.
People and economy
The population is about 34% East Indian, 35% Creole, and 16% Indonesian. Other groups include Europeans, Chinese, and Native Americans. The official language is Dutch, but most people speak the Creole Sranang Tongo. Hindi, Javanese, Chinese, English, French, and Spanish are also spoken. The most important product of the economy is bauxite. The main crops are rice, sugar, fruits, coffee, and bananas.
England ceded Suriname to the Dutch (1667) in exchange for New Amsterdam (now New York City), and the country was subsequently known as Dutch Guiana. It became a self-governing part of the Netherlands in 1954 and gained full independence in 1975. The first years of independence were marked by an exodus of some 40,000 Surinamese to the Netherlands and by border disputes with French Guiana and Guyana. A bloodless military coup took place in 1980, but the country returned to democratic rule in 1988. The relationship with the Netherlands remained tensed. In 1998 there were massive demonstrations aimed at the country's financial policy and the increase in prices.