Suriname is in South America. But it’s one of those countries that many people couldn't locate. Ecuadorians often point out that although many Europeans don’t know where Ecuador is, it’s not as bad as it is for Suriname, where even people on the continent aren't sure where it is.
Suriname is on the East coast of South America, bordering the ‘the Guyanas’, Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s only 1,660 miles from Quito to Paramaribo, the Surinamese capital, fairly close in continental terms. However, culturally the countries are very different. Ecuador is Latino, Suriname is Caribbean. Different food, different music, different history.
Suriname is a former Dutch colony, as such the main language spoken is Dutch. However, due to the various waves of transatlantic slavery and immigration to work the Dutch plantations, there are now several distinct cultures present in this verdant, jungle-country.
This includes a large Black population, including villages set up by escaped slaves. Also of course, Native American groups, the original inhabitants of the continent. But there is also an easily identifiable Indonesian population, as well as Indian and Chinese communities. These diverse groups have kept their cultural identities, and fit together to make a generally harmonious Suriname.
|A mosque in Paramaribo|
I spent a week in Paramaribo attending a conference. I’m now on my way home to Quito, writing this blog in the airport of one of the other former Dutch colonies, Curacao.
|Roti, Indian based food is very popular in and very good in Suriname|