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People in Estonia

People in Estonia are called Estonians (eestlased) and they speak a Finno-Ugric language, called Estonian.

The population of Estonia is 1,1 mil. Some Estonians live also in Russia (28 000), United States (25 000), Canada (22 000), Sweden (15 000), Finland (11 000), Australia (7000).

Estonia belongs to Baltic countries with Latvia and Lithuania, but ethnically and linguistically it is much more similar to Finland. So Estonians often think of themselves more as a Nordic people rather than Balts.


The first book in Estonian was printed in 1525, the Bible was translated in 1739. By the end of the 18th century half of adults were able to read.

During different wars in 19th and 20th century, Estonia was ruled by Germany and Russia. Before 1945 the share of ethnic Estonians in Estonia was 95%, after the Soviet mass immigration from Russia it dropped to 61% (1989).

About Estonians

Estonians are hard-working people. From the past they are used to that if you want something you must work for it. Although an average Estonian does not want very much, he wants a beautiful home, good friends and loving family.

Estonians like to travel quite lot, many Estonians go abroad during the holiday, mostly to other European country. We have a cold autumn and long dark winter, when there is not much to do outside, except skiing and snowboarding that is becoming more and more popular. We also go skiing to Finland or maybe Slovakia.

When the snow is melting, an average Estonian is getting more active and spends more time outside. Many families own a cottage in the country and on the weekends this is the place to go and spend time with our family and friends. Very popular activity is sauna, it's hot and small dark room where you`d sit and sweat for 10 minutes and after that you`d jump into cold water. Many Estonians have small garden to take care of.

We have much forest and it's a great activity to walk around in a forest and pick berries or mushroom. Fishing is also a quite popular activity.In summer we all hope for beautiful sunny weather to go to beach for swimming and sunbathing. Usually the water is quite chilly but we like to say it`s refreshing.

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