Governments use identifications of groups ‚Äď whether it is state-determined or self-identified ‚Äď in formulating minority policies; while organizations and individuals often use forms of identification in searching for areas of sameness. In both cases; the classification used affects policies and actions. Identifications based on language; religion; ethnicity; nationality; race; and citizenship create borders in society; but simultaneously offer opportunities to transcend other forms of borders. From the 1870s until the Second World War; Estonia went through four governments; each with its own form of identification ‚Äď tsarist Russia; independent Estonia; Soviet Estonia; and Nazi Germany. For the Swedish minority living in a borderland; subsequent minority policies shaped the direction of their cultural de¬¨velopment; but it was the transnational connection with individuals and organizations in Sweden; and later the Swedish government (although the type of identification shifted over time) that transcended political borders and had the greatest impact on the populations cultural development.