Suriname Independence Day is every year on November 25. The country may be one of the smallest in South America, but it is also one of the most ethnically diverse. It’s also pristine, filled with nature, and among three of the only carbon-negative countries on the planet. The world has plenty of lessons to learn from Suriname. Still, the path there was no bed of roses. Suriname Independence Day is a tribute to a tiny country with a tremendous heart. A day to commemorate a nation’s healing and phenomenal progress.
History of Suriname Independence Day
Spanish, French, and English explorers first landed in Suriname in the 16th century. A hundred years later, its fertile land and rivers became home to plantation colonies established by Dutch and English settlers. Territorial disputes arose during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in 1667, and a peace treaty ensured the Dutch kept Suriname. In return, the English governed New Netherland, a former Dutch colony in North America. In 1683, the city of Amsterdam founded the Society of Suriname to rule and defend the territory. The lucrative coffee, sugar cane, cocoa, and cotton plantations in Suriname depended on the hard labor of enslaved people from Africa. Plantation owners’ treatment of workers was notoriously harsh — savage and unforgiving even by the standards of the time.
In 1863, the Netherlands officially abolished slavery in Suriname, although true freedom was a long way away. Plantation owners exploited a ten-year transition period to get as much work out of their workers as possible for minimal pay. When this period expired in 1873, formerly enslaved people abandoned the plantations and moved to the capital city, Paramaribo. After W.W.I.I., Suriname became a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands regained control of Suriname’s foreign affairs and defense. But the local government had other plans. The Creole members of the National Party of Suriname (N.P.S.) started negotiations to push for complete independence. Their efforts did not go in vain, and on November 25, 1975, Suriname became free. Henck Arron, then-leader of the N.P.S., became the country’s first Prime Minister, while Johan Ferrier, former governor, was the first President.
Suriname Independence Day timeline
The nomadic Arawak tribe first inhabits the area, subsisting on fishing and hunting.
Spanish, Dutch, English, and French explorers arrive in Suriname.
The Dutch bring enslaved people from Africa to work in coffee, cocoa, cotton, and sugarcane plantations.
The road to emancipation begins.
The local N.P.S. party negotiates and secures independence for the people of Suriname.
Suriname Independence Day FAQs
When did Suriname change its name?
The country was formerly known as Dutch Guiana and later Surinam. In January 1978, the official spelling changed from Surinam to Suriname.
Why does Suriname speak Dutch?
Suriname’s capital city, Paramaribo, became a Dutch colony in the 17th century. Dutch remains the official language of the country to this day.
What does the word ‘Suriname’ mean?
‘Suriname’ comes from ‘Surinen,’ after the name of the indigenous people who inhabited the region at the time of European contact.
Suriname Independence Day Activities
Talk about Suriname
Suriname is a leader in sustainable development and indigenous wisdom. More people should know about this incredible nation.
Join the party
Air shows, parades, and festivals abound on this day. When in Suriname, attend the festivities and celebrate like the locals.
Celebrate the freedom to be
Do something you’ve always dreamt of today — just because you can. Perhaps you can finally start that new project or say what you want to say to someone special.
5 Facts About The Caribbean That Will Blow Your Mind
The shortest runway
The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport (S.A.B.) is 1,312 feet.
Jamaica has many Christians
With a population of 64% Christians, the country has more churches per square mile than any other country.
The smallest shared landmass
At 33.5 square miles, the island of St. Maarten belongs both to France and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Home to the Boiling Lake
The Boiling Lake, located 2,600 feet above sea level on Dominica, is a flooded fumarole seething with volcanic activity.
Unusual G.P.S. navigation
“Head south until the butter melts, then turn right” was once established as a sailing rule to reach the West Indies from England.
Why We Love Suriname Independence Day
The spotlight is on Suriname
Suriname is one of the lesser-known gems of the Caribbean. Today, this incredible carbon-negative country gets some much-deserved attention.
It upholds the ideals of freedom
Suriname Independence Day honors the lives and achievements of thousands who fought for independence. A reminder to never take our freedoms for granted.
It’s a celebration
Today, the world celebrates Suriname. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn about and immerse ourselves in the country’s incredible culture.
Suriname Independence Day dates