Representatives of 211 nationalities live in Estonia. According to Statistics Estonia, the largest ethnic groups living in Estonia in 2021 were Estonians (919,693 people), Russians (315,242 people), Ukrainians (~60,000 people in the beginning of 2023), Belarusians (11,605 people), Finns (8,543 people) and Latvians (3,827 people). In 2023, a total of 1,357,740 people lived in Estonia.
While living here, the representatives of various nationalities want to preserve their cultural heritage and introduce it to others and therefore they join cultural associations. More than 300 cultural associations and 32 Sunday schools of different nationalities operate in Estonia, keeping their native languages, customs and handicraft skills alive. Larger events organised by cultural associations of national minorities include the Novruz Bayramı festival of Eastern people that celebrates the start of the New Year of the Sun, the Ukrainian Flowers international children’s and young people’s festival held in Tallinn at the beginning of summer, the Multicultural Pärnu summer festival or the Slavic Wreath international song and dance festival. September is especially rich in national cultural events when National Minorities Day is celebrated in Estonia. The largest traditional events of National Minorities Day include the Ethno Fair, the Under One Sky concert in Tallinn and the National Cultures Creative Pot festival in Jõhvi.
Cultural associations of national minorities not only organise events, but also issue materials that introduce their culture. The most active in this field is the Old Believers community, which has issued books in Estonian and Russian for children and adults alike.
Work with the new generation is also one of the priorities. Children and young people become acquainted with their ancestors’ culture in hobby groups and Sunday schools and when visiting various events.