Updated: Sep 20, 2022
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia.
Estonia is a country on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia.
Reason for Naming
The name Estonia has been connected to Aesti, first mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus around 98 AD. Some historians believe he was directly referring to Balts (i.e. not Finnic-speaking Estonians), while others have proposed that the name applied to the whole Eastern Baltic region. The Scandinavian legends referring to Eistland were the earliest sources to use the name in its modern meaning. The toponym Estland/Eistland has been linked to Old Scandinavian eist, austr meaning "the east".
The first use of the current flag design was on 21 November 1918. The Flag of Estonia was adopted on 7 August 1990. Estonia flag consists of three equal horizontal stripes of blue, black, and white, The blue color represents the Estonian sea, sky, and lakes and sometimes it is also considered a symbol of honesty, The black color represents the sorrows of the Estonian population but it also refers to the traditional black vest of local farmers. The white represents the snow, which covers Estonian soil for a large part of the year, and it also expresses the desire for freedom.
Standard Estonian is the official language of Estonia, it has several dialects. The North Estonian language is closer to the standard Estonian than the South Estonian. The latter has several dialects like the Võro, Tartu, and Mulgi. The most common foreign languages learned by Estonian students are English, Russian, German, and French. Other popular languages include Finnish, Spanish, and Swedish.
Estonia has a diverse religious history, but recently it becomes increasingly secular, with a majority of the population declaring themselves nonreligious.
The largest minority groups are the various Christian denominations, principally Lutheran and Orthodox Christians, with very small numbers of adherents in non-Christian faiths, namely Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.