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Pink Panther Magazine: Issue 2 : April 8 2010

3 questions about Estonia:

1. "Where the hell is Estonia?":

Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Finland across the Gulf of Finland, to the west by Sweden across the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia (343 km), and to the east by the Russian Federation (338,6 km).

2. Is Estonia the world’s smallest country?

Definitely not. With an area of 45 000 sq. km, Estonia is larger for example than Slovenia, Holland, Denmark or Switzerland; a little smaller, in other words, than New Hampshire and Massachusetts combined. Estonia stretches 350 km from east to west and 240 km from north to south. Sea islands form one tenth and lakes about one twentieth of Estonia’s territory.

Conversely, Estonia’s population ranks amongst the smallest in the world: as of January 2002, an estimated 1 364 100 people live in Estonia – a density of only 30.2 people per sq. km.

3. What language is spoken in Estonia?

As is typical of small peoples, the Estonian identity is closely connected to the language; it is natural, therefore, that Estonians speak Estonian. It is used as a mother tongue by just under 1.1 million people. Approximately 950 000 of these live in Estonia; the remainder in Sweden, Canada, the United States, Russia and elsewhere. Estonian is one of the world’s smallest cultural languages to include contemporary terminology for all major fields of life.

Estonian, different from most spoken languages in Europe, does not belong to the Indo-European group; it belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family.

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