Estonia

By Katie Lane

History

On February 24th 1918 the Republic of Estonia was founded. On August 20, 1991 Estonia's independence was declared and it was recognized by the Soviet Union on September 6, 1991.

Geography

Estonia is divided into fifteen counties, its capital city is Tallinn, and it has a population of 1.3 million. Estonia has warm summers and harsh winters, the weather is often breezy or humid since Estonia is bordering the Baltic Sea. Estonia also has lots of islands, is very hilly, and has lots of small lakes in the Western part of the country. The largest river in Estonia is Lake Peipus and it forms most of the border between Estonia and Russia. People mainly live along the coastline.


Government

Estonia has a parliamentary republic and it's called the Republic of Estonia. Thoomas Hendrik IIves is their current leader. If at least one of the parents are Estonian citizens the the child is automatically an Estonian citizen. A person who married an Estonian citizen before February 26th, 1992 is an Estonian citizen. People who want to become an Estonian citizen have to be over 15, legally lived in Estonia for at least 8 years, speak Estonian, familiar with the Estonian Constitution, and they have to take an oath of loyalty. Estonia is part of the United Nations (UN).

Estonian Cultures

83.4% of the population speaks Estonian. 54.1% of the population has no religion, but the main religion is Orthodox at 16.2%. Jaanipaev is celebrated by going to a non-urban area and burning bonfires. In the morning you put potatoes into the hot ashes and after a few hours you eat them. Another tradition is that in the summer if you collect a variety of flowers and put them under your pillow then you're supposed to be able to dream of your future spouse. Their independence day is called Eesti Vabariigi Aastapaev and it's on February 24th. Joulud is like their Christmas, people celebrate the holiday from December 23 to December 25 and people ar off of school/work until New Years Day. Black bread, potatoes, pork, milk related products, and herring and sour cream are all traditional Estonian foods/drinks.

Social and Ethnic Groups

68.8% of Estonia's citizens are Estonians, 25.5% are Russians, 2.1% are Ukrainians, 1.2% are Belorussians, 0.8% are Finns, 0.2% are Tatars, 0.16% are Latvians, 0.15% are Poles, 0.15% are Lithuanians, 0.14% Jews, 0.14% Germans, and 0.68% others. The educational system has pre-school education, basic education, general secondary education, vocational education, and higher education. Basic education are grades 1-9 and children have to attend school by the age of 7. If students complete basic education then they go on to general secondary education which are grades 10-12. If students complete general secondary education then they go to vocational for a higher education. Higher education is divided into two parts, students can either do applied higher education (diploma studies) or students can do the academic higher education (bachelor's, master's, and doctorate).