Children and School
In Suriname, children start school at the age of 6. 91 percent of the children go to school. Conversely, this means that 9 out of 100 children in a given year do not go to school. This particularly affects children who live in the country. The obstacles for these children are long journeys to school, the cost of school books and the language of instruction. It is taught in Dutch and that is not the mother tongue for all Surinamans, for example for the children of the indigenous peoples or the children of the Maroons or Creoles. However, compulsory schooling ends at the age of 12.
After six years of primary school, the children who continue to go to school are followed by middle school for four years. To do this, however, they have to pass an exam. Only 53 percent of boys and 66 percent of girls attend secondary school. There are another three school years until graduation.
Students wear a school uniform. In elementary school it is a green shirt and jeans, in middle school a blue shirt and jeans. Grades are given in points between 0 and 100. The school year starts in October and ends in mid-August next year. It is divided into three trimesters. The school day starts at 7 or 8 a.m. and ends at around 1 p.m.
Unfortunately, the teachers in schools are often not well trained. 30 percent of teachers in rural areas are not even trained for their profession. 5 percent of primary school teachers haven’t even finished primary school themselves.
The schools themselves are also often in a miserable condition, especially the schools in rural areas. They have no toilets, no running water, and no electricity. This affects around 67 percent of all rural schools. Here rainwater has to be collected or you have to get water from a river when you are at school.
4 percent of children in Suriname work. Most of the children work in gold mines. 2010 rice production was on fair trade (Fairtrade moved). If you stick to it, child labor would now be excluded. But there are still children who have to sell something on the street in order to ensure their families’ livelihood. One of the major problems is the sale of young girls in order to force them into prostitution. This nasty form of human trafficking flourishes especially around the mines.
Poverty is another big problem. According to data from 2001, 70 percent live below the poverty line. There is no more recent information. But even if the situation has improved since then, there are still many families who are poor. The children then do not have enough to eat or cannot afford clothes. In the villages in the rainforest where the African and indigenous families live, there is often no running water or electricity. 12 percent of people in rural areas do not have running water, whereas in cities it is only 2 percent.
Another problem facing the country is drug smuggling. Cocaine and other drugs are brought to Europe via Suriname, a country located in South America according to countryvv.
Everyday life in Suriname
Suriname is a country that little people in Germany hear and know about. It is a country in which many peoples live due to its long colonial period. In addition to the now only a few indigenous people, people of African origin (descendants of slaves brought here) as well as Indians, Indonesians and Chinese live here. This diversity always leads to conflicts.
This diversity can of course also be felt in everyday life, because you meet these people of different origins with their different cultures and religions. In Paramaribo, the capital, there are not only Christian churches, but also a Hindu temple, a mosque and a synagogue. The latter stand side by side.
Several Hindu and Islamic holidays are celebrated in Suriname. These include the Hindu festivals Diwali (festival of lights) and Holi (spring festival) and the Islamic festivals of the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan and the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice. Fixed public holidays in Suriname are also the day of the arrival of the Indians (June 5th) and the day of the arrival of the Javanese (August 8th).
A style of music from Suriname is Kaseko. Many styles of music are fused in it. An alternating song is typical. Lieve Hugo is probably the most famous Kaseko singer. It had its heyday in the early 1970s.
The clothes of the people in Suriname are as different as their origins. In the Maroon Villages in the rainforest, you can feel like you are in Africa. For example, women wear brightly printed dresses. Creole women traditionally wear kotomisi, a long skirt with two petticoats, with a shirt or jacket. A headscarf is also included. The way it is folded, it also expresses a message. Women from Indonesia like to wear a sarong. Especially in Paramaribo, however, you will mainly see western clothing, i.e. t-shirts, jeans or modern dresses or skirts.
In Paramaribo, many residents live in the pretty wooden houses from the colonial times. By the way, in Suriname people drive on the left. Allegedly, the first car owner in Suriname hired a British chauffeur.