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Coastal Swedes want cultural clout

So how many of them are there?

The Coastal Swedes and their successors have elected a Culture Council to preserve the culture and language of Estonian Swedes. It’s estimated that there are up to a thousand Coastal Swedes presently living in Estonia. Before the World War Two there were more than 7,500, living mostly in Estonia’s west coast and northwestern islands. Some islands carry Swedish names thanks to their presence.

Swedish cultural society chairwoman Uile Kärk-Remes said that one of the tasks of the Culture Council is to get a better idea of how big the community of Estonian Swedes is. It’s a good question, certainly. Last year, when a City Paper reporter visited the island of Ruhnu, one formerly belonging to the Coastal Swedes, he was told there was only one single resident of the island connected to the Coastal Swedes.