Day of Nations celebrates ethnic minorities (3)
Estonia is celebrating the Day of Estonian Nations today, September 24 to commemorate the first gathering of the Forum of Estonian Nations that took place back in 1988. This celebration is dedicated to all of the over 190 nations living in Estonia.
During the first Forum of Estonian Nations people of different nationalities declared their readiness to support the indigenous peoples’ strive to restore Estonia’s statehood and democratic way of life. Estonia started to celebrate the Day of Estonian Nations in 2005, when then Minister of Ethnic Affairs Paul-Erik Rummo proclaimed the September 24 as the Estonian National Minorities Day. This year’s event will mark the eleventh Day of Nations celebration.
"National minorities living here have and continue to contribute to the emergence of our the republic, the birth and development of our nation and our country," current Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said. "Today, I wish to recognize these minorities for enriching our culture and contributing to our society," he added.
Click here for a full program of Nationalities' Day events.
Estonia is currently home to slightly over 190 nations. According to Statistics Estonia, most numerous ethnic groups are (as of January 1, 2015):
- Estonians - 907,937 people - 69.1 percent
- Russians - 330,258 - 25.2
- Ukrainians - 22,562 - 1.7
- Belorussians - 12,215 - 0.9
- Finnish - 7,321 - 0.6
- Jews - 2,042 - 0.2
- Tatars - 1,982 - 0.2
- Latvians - 1,840 - 0,1
- Lithuanians - 1,757 - 0.1
- Polish - 1,643 - 0.1
- Germans - 1,552 - 0.1
More exotic minorities living in Estonia come from India (349), China (249), Japan (68), Nepal (47), Philippines (38), Vietnam (24), Nigeria (150), Sudan (22), Brazil (69), Argentina (18), Columbia (29), Australia (48), Canada (77), and the US (632).
The majority of the nations, however, only have one or two representatives in Estonia.