Surinam - Omitted Country Of South America I.
Surinam Republic is a country, situated in north-east coast of South America. Till 1975, Surinam was Netherland´s colony and named as Netherland´s Guyana. The country borders in west with Guyana (former British Guyana), in south with Brasil, in east with French Guyana, and from north, it is washed with waters of Atlantic Ocean. The coast line of Surinam is 360 kms long, the distance from north to the east makes 400 kms.
Population number: 519 000 inhabitants (2009). 68% of total population live in towns. Paramaribo is a capital of the country and the greatest town at the same time. Other towns are, such as: Niew Nickerie, Moengo, Apoera, Paranam, Niew Amsterdam.
Administrative organization: 10 districts
Extention: it makes totally 163 265 square kilometres. The highest peak-Juliana Mountain (1230 metres above sea level).
Political system: The Republic
Official language: it is Dutch. Anyway, also the English, Surinam language , Hindu, Indonesian, Chines or Java languages are being used.
Main religions: Hindu (26%), Catholics (22%), Islam (19%), Protestantismus ( 18%).
Nationality structure: Indians and Pakistans (37%), Creoles (31%), Javans (15,3%), Marons (10,3%), Indians (2,6%), Chinese (1,7%), Burs - Europeans- (1%), Jews and Lebanese (together 1,1%).
Currency: Surinam goulden (SRG)
National holiday: Independance day - 25th November
On Surinam territory, it could be distinguished coastal Guyana plain land, savannah belt and tropical forests of Guyana Highlands. Guyana plain land is 24 kms wide in west, and even 80 kms in east. It is composed from alluvial and sea sands and a clay. The surface is flat and swampy, and it is partially crossed with coastal rivers and earthworks. Several deep forests were preserved till now. In south direction, on slopes of Guyana Highlands, narrow savannah belt is to be found. The soil is not too fertile and the agriculture is less developed. Guyana Highland is composed from old crystalinic minerals. The surface is mainly covered with tropical virgin forests. On the backround, mountain massifs and low mountain ranges are surpassing, especially Wilhelmina Mountains, including its highest peak - Juliana Mountain (1230 m).
On south slopes of this mountain area, the savannahs are apperating, situated partially outside Surinam territory.
The country is crossed with four great rivers, flowing in the north direction. It is Courantyne (flowing along the border with Guyana), Coppename, Gran Rio and Suriname. The other rivers, such as Cottica and Commewijne (which mouth into Surimam river), Saramacca (which mouth into Coppename river) and Nickerie (tributary of Courantyne river) are quite important for agriculture and for loading transport.
However, owing to rapids, the vessels could be navigated within the boundaries of coastal plainland only. So, the south areas of the country were practically isolated from the remaining world till recent time period.
The climate in Surinam is tropical, equatorial, humid and hot. The average month temperatures vary between + 23° C and + 31° C. The yearly average precipitations make 2300 mm in plainland, and more than 3000 mm in the mountains. In Surinam, you can follow two wet periods (since middle of November till February and since end of March till middle of July), and two dry periods (shorter, since February till middle of march, and longer, since August till middle of November).
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation: ing. Jan jonáš
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