Considered the prehistoric homeland of the Germanic tribe of Burgundians, Bornholm ranks among the most significant of the Danish islands, due also to its unique history, location, and culture. While ethnic and national minorities constitute a small percentage of the island's inhabitants, they have exerted a strong influence on the cultural life of society. Intense feelings of regional and national separateness among the Bornholmers are complemented by an openness to other immigrants from outside Denmark. Frequently, newcomers quickly assimilate with the local inhabitants. The Poles settled there since the 19th century represent one of the major national minorities. They brought with them their Catholic faith, which constitutes an essential feature of their national identity (sometimes termed a hybrid identity). Among other national minorities are Swedes, Germans, and citizens of the former Yugoslavia who came to Bornholm in 1995 during the Balkan wars. The final part of the article summarizes the main cultural events in the history of Bornholm.
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