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A well-known poet from Suriname, taught us to see the Surinamese society as: “wan bong” (Sranan for: one tree). A tree, which like the people’s diversity, has many leaves; wide and long, but still dances to 1 song.
Thus, although we have different hair, color, language and story, only together we can achieve true glory!
With an area of 163,821km², Suriname is the smallest country in South America, covered by approximately 80% pristine Amazon rainforest, it contains numerous natural resources such as biodiversity, freshwater resources and cultural heritage.
The Amazon also called the "lungs of the earth" because it exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide can also be called the “kidneys of the earth”, because it catches rain and lead it into the ground, so plants can use it for photosynthesis it is then returned to the atmosphere and into the wind so that it starts raining somewhere else.
But the Amazon is also the “bowels of the earth” that exchange nutrients between soil and vegetation, fueling the nutrient and carbon cycle.
Furthermore, we can think of the rainforest as “the heart of the earth” because it controls ecosystems, with both above and below ground organisms, that ultimately make the world healthy.
If we look at this vital “body”, the appreciation of its inhabitants is understandable. As they have experienced natures wonders for generations, through the knowledge of their ancestors. The Indians believe even more in nature religions, in which spirit and ancestor worship play a major role.
When in 2020, the Wayana Kawemhakan village in Suriname also suffered from the covid-19 virus, this disease was also fought with natural knowledge. The so-called “Wataki tea”, got rid of all covid symptoms a week after drinking. Naturopath, Richard Cullimore also developed an herbal tea that was able to heal covid contaminated. To prove that all solutions can really be found in nature.
Finally, the Amazon is called "The World's Largest Medicine Cabinet." Because, about 25% of all Western medicine came from the rainforest. That's impressive, because less than 5% of Amazon plant species have been studied for medicinal purposes.
Written by: : Sabrinah S. Van de L’Isle