Is Estonia the world's smallest country?
Do polar bears live in Estonia?
Does the sun ever shine in Estonia?
What language is spoken in Estonia?
What is there to know about Estonian history?
Does Estonia have a King?
Why are Estonians called a 'singing nation'?
What are Estonians like?
Do ferns really blossom in Estonia?
Where does Estonia get its electricity?
What does an Estonian do at weekends?
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Who or what is a 'mulk'?
Despite Estonia's small area and population, the country is inhabited by a surprising number of numerically tiny, but clearly-defined, divergent regional populations. The overall picture of settlement has not changed much over the last millennium; the historical place names are still in use and the administrative divisions largely follow the old county borders based on landscape. Seto girl
The Seto people of the southeast are perhaps the most distinct ethnic group of Estonians.
A 'mulk' is an inhabitant of southern Estonia's Mulgimaa (Mulkland), the Viljandi area; a character who has always been considered wealthy and enterprising, though arrogant and stingy. One of the most singular parts of the country is undoubtedly Southeast Estonia, or Võrumaa. The dialect here differs so much from standard Estonian that it may well be considered a language in its own right. Even the Võrumaa landscape, with its plentiful lakes and rolling hills, is considerably different from the flatlands of Northern Estonia. The inhabitants have every reason to feel proud of their culture and all the more so after publishing a reader in their own dialect; it contains newly-coined words which proves that their language is as much a language as any other.
Another highly unique area is that of the West Estonian islands. Saaremaa, the largest, is widely known for its windmills and, so they say, the best brewers in the country. The islanders' life has always been bound to the sea; the resilience of their womenfolk, kept busy toiling the land while their men were at sea, is truly legendary. People from the islands have a sing-song intonation, reminiscent of Swedish, which confirms their close ties with lands beyond the sea. An islander gives himself away on the mainland by stubbornly using 'ö' instead of 'õ'. The jokes of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa folk may be lost on other Estonians, just as is British humour on the Continent. The islanders claim that there have been only three major sea powers in world history: England, Hiiumaa and Saaremaa.
Ethnic groups
Regional differences also relate to cities. A visitor will certainly be told of the 'spirit of Tartu' in that city, which is incomprehensible for the arrogant and practical citizen of Tallinn. A Tallinner, on the other hand, might consider Tartu people to be stuck in the academic complacency of the early 1900s.
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