|Place of origin:||Greenland|
|Places inhabitted:||Greenland (~10% of population)|
|Formed at:||19th-20th centuries|
|Language:||Greenlandic dialect of Scandinavian|
Greenlanders are an ethnicity that lives in Greenland. They make less than 10% of Greenland's population (about 8000 people) and currently are the third largest community, after the Inuits and the Norwegians. Greenlanders are the descendants of the Scandinavian settlers that settled the area prior to the 20th century. Greenlanders believe that they have full rights to the island, as they consider themselves to be the descendants of the Norse settlers that settled Greenland in 10th century (before the Inuit majority arrived to the area). However, this belief is disputed by scientists, many of whom claims that the orginal Norse settlers became extinct in several centuries. Neverless, the Greenlanders have the political power in Greenland.
Greenlanders speak the Greenlandic dialect of the Scandinavian language, but they as consider themselves to be Scandinavians, they did not request any official recognition of their language and instead prefer using Riksmal for official purposes.
Common belief among the Greenlanders is that of the "attachment to the land". Seeing themselves as the oldest settlers of Greenland, they believe that they are the people who are attached to the area the most. Therefore they supposedly are the rightful owners of it, and view the other nationalities, both Inuit and (to a lower extent) the latter Scandinavian immigrants, as not reliable or worse. In addition to that, the Inuits are frequently considered to be uncivilised by Greenlanders. In general, most Greenlanders see themselves as some sort of nobility of Greenland. However in order to prevent the possibility of Inuit takeover the Greenlander political elite increasingly relied on the immigration of other Scandinavians in past few decades. This policy had helped to lower the percentage of ethnic Inuits, however it was crticised by some Greenlanders as weakening the position of the Greenlander nation as well. The proponents of this immigration claim that it is the "lesser one of two evils".
The term "Greenlander", although it is in the common usage in English and the name most Greenlanders use to describe themselves, came under heavy criticism in recent years. It is primarilly criticised by the Inuits, who have enjoyed increased political power and a larger support for their cause in past several decades. The Inuits see the name Greenlander as not valid as such a name supposedly implies that only Greenlanders are valid citizens of Greenland, while others, including Inuits, are not. Therefore, Inuits generally use the name "Greenland Scandinavians" to describe the ethnic group. In the English language generally "Greenlander" is used for this ethnicity, while "Greenlandian" - for anybody who lives in Greenland.
This page was created by Abdul-aziz.