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Of the non-Christian Guyanese, 35 percent Hindu, and 9 percent Muslim. The official language of the country is English, but almost everyone speaks Creolese, a fusion of European and African dialects.
The major religious holidays of each of the three faiths—Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam—are observed nationally. Amerindian dialects and East Indian tongues are spoken as well, and three major Indian languages—Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu—are still in use among the Indo-Guyanese.
Guyana's national flag consists of five colors: the green background symbolizes agriculture and forests, the golden arrowhead represents mineral wealth, the white border stands for water resources, and the red triangle edged in black signifies the energy and zeal of the Guyanese in building their nation.
Guyana is an Amerindian word that means "land of [many] waters." The Europeans first used the name to refer to the triangle formed by the Orinoco, Amazon, and Negro rivers.
No settlement, however, resulted from this early exploration.The largest group was the Caribs, who lived in the upper reaches of the Essequibo River, as well as near the Mazaruni, Cuyuni, Pomeroon, and Barima rivers.The Caribs roamed the heavily forested regions of the interior.Each of a dozen native groups speaks a different Carib, Arawak, or Warrau dialect.About 91 percent of the Guyanese population is literate—one of the highest rates among new nations of the world.
(The name Amerindian is used to distinguish Guyana's native groups from the immigrant East Indian population.) Primarily because of ambitious missionary activities during the nineteenth century, the Afro-Guyanese are mostly Christian.