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FROM 22.9.22



The Frisian ethnic group has lived on the islands and coastal strip of the North Sea for 2,000 years, in territory that now forms part of the Netherlands and Germany. Over the course of their long history, the Frisians have become experts in living with the sea, specialising in long-distance maritime trade, coastal navigation and the building of dykes that enabled them to use the fertile mud flats and to drain marshland. Thanks to their “Frisian Freedom” they upheld a decentralised form of self-government that withstood external feudal claims for centuries. To this day, the Frisian identity is heavily imbued with the concept of direct democracy. The Frisian world is high compartmentalised. Most Frisians live in the Dutch province of Fryslân, while Germany is home to three groups, each with its own regional consciousness. Preserving the language with its many variants is a challenge, while mass tourism and climate change are inflicting fundamental changes on the Frisian settlement regions.