chapter  1
4 Pages

The geographical setting of Popular Sufism in Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is a vast and loosely defined region today, where many countries which were formerly considered to be ‘East European’, such as Poland for example, are often referred to as being situated in ‘Central Europe’, whereas others, such as the ‘Baltic States’, especially Estonia, are sometimes attached to the Nordic countries. This shuffling of a regional position has been increased through the entry of these, and other countries, into the European Union. Geographers have pointed out that, geographically speaking, a locality in Lithuania lies at the very centre of Europe, on the map. Since the break up of the Soviet Union, Russia has become detached from ‘Eastern Europe’, and it now is said to be in a vague geographical region called ‘Eurasia’. Peoples of other countries, such as Slovenia, have all but detached themselves from the ‘Balkans’. They regard themselves, nowadays, as ‘Central Europeans’. Amidst the confusion, there are even some who attach Poland, Belarus and the Baltic States to Northern Europe.