Surinam - Omitted Country Of South America II.
Within 1990-1995, annual population increase in Surinam made 0,9% in average. Nearly 90% of Surinam population is concentrated in its coastal belt, first of all in Paramaribo and its surroundings. On the other hand, the population density in inland is very low.
Nevertheless, birth-rate in Surinam is decreasing slowly: (from 26 persons, born in comparison to 1000 inhabitants within 1985-1990, this item decreased to 18,87 in 2004). On the other hand, the death-rate made 6,99 persons to 1000 inhabitants. So, natural annual population growth (1,7%) belongs to lowest ones in Latin America. At the same time, real growth of population is remarkably decreased owing to emigration, which increased dramatically after 1950.
A segregation according to the ethnical citizenship is very characteristic sign for Surinam community. According to census, effected in 2007, 37% of inhabitants is presented by Hindoos and Pakistans, 31% form the Creoles, 15,3% by Javans, 10,3% by Marons („negroes from bush“), 2,6% by Indians, 1,7% by Chinese, 1% by Burs (Europeans), and Jews with Lebanese form 1,1% of inhabitants.
The Creoles present two thirds of inhabitants in towns. They mostly live in Paramaribo and in its environs. The Hindoos are concentrated in most productive agriculture areas. They represent less than one quarter of towns´ population. The Indonesians live in less fertile agrarian areas, their dominanta is to be noted in Commewijne district only, where they work in plantations as mercenary power. The Indians live mostly in inland.
The ethnical variety of Surinam is to be followed also in language diversities. The Dutch is an official language, but it is not accepted as mother language by many inhabitants of Surinam, as many persons are unable to speak this language at all. So, this communication function is fulfilled by language sraman-tongo, established in negro and mulatto millieu. This language is known as „Negro English“, „Bastard English“, „taki-taki“ or „Surinam language“. Except of this, the people in Surinam speak with minimal sixteen languages, including Hindoo, Indonesian, Chinese, Java-language and also minimal with four Indian languages.
Text: Maxim Kucer
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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