Q:  What is the anjisa?

A:  This is a headdress worn by Afro-Surinamese women and is unique to Surinam. The anjisa is essentially a headtie, usually made by an expert, and often held together by pins. They are used for everyday attire and also for special occasions. Each style or color has some meaning that may be political, social or sexual. Every pattern of the tie has its own name. Examples are "paw-tere", "botoman ede", and the popular "let-them-talk", which is a combination of anjisas. The anjisa may be worn with or without the "koto",  a large skirt.

Q:  What is the official language of Suriname?

A:  Dutch

Q:  Who are Bush Negroes?

A:  Descendants of Black slaves who ran away from plantations during the 17th or 18th century to set up communities in the bush or jungles of Surinam. These heroic people resisted the best efforts of European forces to move them. They were also called maroons. Included among them were Djukas and Saramacas. Bush Negroes live mostly along the banks of rivers in grass-thatched huts. Provisions, corn and fish make up their daily diet. In general, their life style is simple and closely resembles the way they lived in Africa. There are 6 tribes of Bush Negroes in Surinam.

Q:  What is the unit of currency in Surinam?

A:  The Surinam guilder.

Q:  What are the panji and kamisa?

A:  They are items of clothing worn by the Maroons of Surinam, former African slaves who escaped and settled in the deep bush of the country. The panji is worn by women and the kamisa by men.

The cloth used in making panjies came mainly in stripes and squares. The stripes, colors and the way the panji was worn had meanings about status for those who could interpret them. Ceremonial panjies were given as presents on certain occasions, such as to a young mother who had just had her first baby or to a girl now entering puberty. Some Surinamese wear them today, using more than stripes and squares. They might embroider  culture-based motifs on plain cloth.

Kamisas are cloths worn around the loins by Maroon men . traditionally They have been made by wives as gifts to their husbands. They too have messages and stories understood by the community embedded in embroidered patterns and designs.

Q:  What do the people of Suriname call their local language?

A:  Sranang Tongo

Q:  What is the origin of the name Suriname?

A:  Surinen, the name of a tribe of Amerindians who inhabited the country at an earlier period, but who were driven away by the Caribs.

Q:  Who have been credited with the first successful European settlement in Suriname?

A:  The British. A group led by Francis Lord Willoughby of Parham, Suffolk settled there in 1651. Settlers from other West Indian and South American colonies and from Europe also came there. Notably, a number of Jews from Berbice (now part of Guyana) moved there.

Q:  What boast does Suriname make about a synagogue there?

A:  Built in 1665, it is believed to be the first synagogue erected in the Western Hemisphere.

Q:  What did the Dutch give up in place of Suriname after the second Anglo-Dutch War?

A:  New York, then called New Amsterdam. Early New York was confined to Manhattan.

Q:  What creature carries its developing young in pockets in its back?

A:  The Surinam Toad. In the pockets, the process of metamorphosis starting with the egg takes place in pockets in the toad's back. Click here for more details.

Q:  What was the port of entry used by most Guyanese who traveled to Surinam in the mid-1900s?

A:  Nickerie, across the Guyana's Corentyne River. Most of those going on to Parimaribo, Surinam's capital city, would take the famous Perica, a motor boat plying between Nickerie and Surinam.

Q:  Which black Surinamer's invention revolutionized the shoe manufacturing business worldwide in the nineteeth century

A: Jan Matzeliger (1852-1889), born in Parimaribo. His shoe lasting machine made a great deal of money for his financial backers.