Estonian ethnography as one of the Estonia-related disciplines was tied with Estonian nationalism from the very beginning. Defined as a science investigating mainly the material side of vanishing traditional peasant culture in the 1920s, it fitted rather well with the Soviet understanding of ethnography as a sub discipline of history. Thanks to the major cooperation projects initiated and coordinated by ethnographers from Moscow, Soviet Estonian ethnographers could continue studying Estonian traditional peasant culture. Their favourite research topics (folk costume, peasant architecture and traditional agriculture) supported Estonian national identity, but also suited the framework of Soviet ethnography. Studying contemporary (socialist) everyday life was unpopular among Estonian ethnographers because the results had to justify and support Soviet policy. They did so unwillingly, and avoided it completely if possible. Despite of some interruption during the Stalin era, ethnography managed to survive as a science of the nation in Soviet Estonia.
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Northern countries are facing the challenges of declining human capital, and admitting immigrants, many of whom belong to religious minorities, to satisfy the demand for labour. If northern societies accept multiculturalism and immigrants, they should not disregard the cultures and religious practices (for example, ritual slaughter) of immigrants, as they need to survive and integrate as a minority community in a secular society. However, there is clash between secularism and religions permitting animal slaughter, which is prohibited by some and allowed by other European countries. Community viability and sustainability depend partly on the exercise of community beliefs and ideology that support identity behaviour. This study will present an ethnographic analysis of the religiosity related to ritual slaughter and Muslim cultural identity in the European Arctic region and explore how religious relativism and practice sustain the community and support the overall integration of the Muslim minority in the North.