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French Guiana Culture Facts

January 28, 2016 | American Culture

French Guiana is an overseas department and region of France, on the north Atlantic coast of South America. It borders Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west. The dominant religion of French Guiana is Roman Catholicism; the Maroons and some Amerindian people maintain their own religions. The Hmong people are also mainly Catholic owing to the influence of missionaries who helped bring them to French Guiana.

French Guiana Culture Facts

The official language of French Guiana is French, and it is the predominant language of the department, spoken by most residents as a first or second language. In addition, a number of other local languages exist. Regional languages include French Guianese Creole, six Amerindian languages (Arawak, Palijur, Kali’na, Wayana, Wayampi, Emerillon), four Maroon creole languages (Saramaka, Paramaccan, Aluku, Ndyuka), as well as Hmong Njua. Other languages spoken include Portuguese, Hakka, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Dutch, and English.

French Guiana Cultural Foods

As with many places in South American, French Guiana has its own cuisine. The food served on tables throughout this tropical land is highly representative of the many different ethnic groups residing in French Guiana, as well as gastronomic influences from neighboring countries and international ties.

Typical French Guyanese fare includes seafood, as French Guiana has a coastline with access to plenty of fresh fish from the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. There are also abundant fresh vegetables and fruit in the country’s main dishes, plus plenty of hot peppers and spices to add flavor. French Guyanese dishes tend to mix several ingredients all in one, combining meats, produce and carbohydrates.

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