• Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    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!

  • Denmark!

    Denmark: Landscape. Go Now!

    Denmark
    From cities like Copenhagen to islands, beaches, and vast fields (pictured), Denmark offers incredible history, architecture, scenery, and more. Begin Your Journey!

  • Czech Republic!

    Czech Republic: Astronomical Clock in Prague. Go Now!

    Czech Republic
    The Astronomical Clock in Prague (pictured) makes every tourist list, but the towns, including Cesky Krumlov, and the mountains offer a change of pace. Go Now!

  • Belarus!

    Belarus: Birch tree forest. Go Now!

    Belarus
    Tucked away and often forgotten in Eastern Europe, Belarus is home to low lands and Birch Forests (pictured) as well as hidden castles and a culture unlike any other. Begin Your Journey!

  • Spain!

    Spain: Guell Park and Gaudi architecture. Go Now!

    Spain
    Fusion foods, lively music, historic ruins, and cultural events like the Running of the Bulls and La Tomatina make Spain and Barcelona (pictured) a favorite tourist destination. Explore Spain!

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