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    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

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    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

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    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

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    Serbia
    Serbia is a historic power now looking internally to re-discovery their identity and future. Explore Serbia!

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    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

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    Finland: Finnish Sauna. Go Now!

    Finland
    Unlike its neighbors, the Finns are unique ethnically & linguistically, but are wholly European in many other ways. Begin Your Journey!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Estonia

Ethnicity

Although most people living in Estonia are ethnic Estonians, nearly a quarter of the population is ethnically Russian, a holdover from the Soviet times. Estonians are ethnically similar to the Finns; both groups are a combination of early Europeans and Uralic people from Central Asia and the Ural Mountains. More distantly, the Estonians are related to these Uralic people, including the Turks and many Central Asian groups today.

Language

The linguistic breakdown in Estonia is similar to the ethnic make-up in Estonia; with most ethnic Estonians speaking Estonian and most ethnic Russians speaking Russian. However, only Estonian is an official national language. Estonian is unlike most European languages as it is a member of the Uralic language family and is most closely related to Finnish and, to a lesser degree, Hungarian and numerous minor languages found in the Ural Mountains.

Most of the ethnic Russians speak Russian and few learn Estonian. This makes Russian the primary language of communication as much of Estonia's older population is fluent in Russian from the Soviet times. However today the ethnic Estonians are learning Russian in smaller numbers, often times at the expense of learning English, which is slowly becoming the second language of choice and the primary means of communication between linguistic groups (although many ethnic Russians and older people don't speak English).

Religion

Most of Estonia's population is either religiously unattached or doesn't strongly adhere to any particular religion. For those who do practice, Evangelical Lutheran is the most populous religion, followed by Orthodox, which is primarily practiced by ethnic Russians.

Lutheranism is a protestant religion that was founded by and named after Martin Luther, who led the Protestant Reformation. Like all Christian and protestant faiths, Lutherans believe there is one God and that His son, Jesus is the savior and forgiver of sins. Lutherans also believe that the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments, is the only true word of God. It is generally in the interpretation of the Bible that protestant religions vary and this is true in the case of Lutheranism, which tends to interpret the Bible quite differently from Catholicism, which was the religion Lutheranism separated from.

This page was last updated: May, 2014