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On 25 November 1975, the country of Suriname left the Kingdom of the Netherlands to become an independent state, nonetheless maintaining close economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties to its former colonizer.
Its indigenous peoples have been increasingly active in claiming land rights and working to preserve their traditional lands and habitats.
Suriname is considered to be a culturally Caribbean country, and is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
While Dutch is the official language of government, business, media, and education, Sranan, an English-based creole language, is a widely used lingua franca.
Planters' treatment of the slaves was notoriously bad, and many slaves escaped the plantations.
With the help of the native South Americans living in the adjoining rain forests, these runaway slaves established a new and unique culture in the interior that was highly successful in its own right.
They were known collectively in English as Maroons, in French as Nèg'Marrons (literally meaning "brown negroes", that is "pale-skinned negroes"), and in Dutch as Marrons.
The Maroons gradually developed several independent tribes through a process of ethnogenesis, as they were made up of slaves from different African ethnicities.
Disputes arose between the Dutch and the English for control of this territory.They sometimes killed planters and their families in the raids; colonists built defenses, which were so important they were shown on 18th-century maps, but these were not sufficient.The colonists also mounted armed campaigns against the Maroons, who generally escaped through the rain forest, which they knew much better than did the colonists.Already a cultural and economic hub in those days, they renamed it after the Duke of York: New York.In 1683, the Society of Suriname was founded by the city of Amsterdam, the Van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck family, and the Dutch West India Company.