Suriname, officially the Republic of Suriname, is a sovereign state on the Atlantic coast of South America. It borders Brazil to the south, Guyana to the west, and French Guiana to the east. With an area of 165,000 km², it is the smallest country in South America. Suriname has a population of approximately 566,000, with the majority living on the country’s north coast. Paramaribo is the capital of the country and is the city with the highest population.
Originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, Suriname was discovered by European forces before falling under Dutch rule in the 17th century. It became one of the founding countries status of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1954. On November 25, 1975, Suriname seceded from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and gained its independence, still maintaining economic, diplomatic and cultural ties with the Netherlands.
Suriname is recognized as a cultural Caribbean country and is also a member of the Caribbean Society (CARICOM). Although Dutch is the official language of government, business and education, Sranan, an English-based Creole language, is also widely used. Suriname is a region outside of Europe where the population mostly speaks Dutch. Surinamese people are among the most diverse countries in the world, encompassing numerous ethnic, religious and linguistic groups.