The Bosniaks, or less commonly Bosniacs, (, ; singular masculine: Bošnjak, feminine: Bošnjakinja) are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group inhabiting mainly homeland Bosnia and Herzegovina along with a native minority present in other countries of the Balkan Peninsula; especially in the Sandžak region of Serbia and Montenegro (where Bosniaks form a regional majority), in Croatia, and in Kosovo. Bosniaks are typically characterized by their historic tie to the Bosnian historical region, traditional majority adherence to Islam since the 15th and 16th centuries, common culture and Bosnian language. In the English-speaking world, Bosniaks are also frequently referred to as Bosnian Muslims or simply Bosnians, though the latter is also used to denote all inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina regardless of ethnic origin or to describe citizenship in the country. There are well over two million Bosniaks living in the Balkans today, with an estimated additional million settled and living around the world. Several instances of ethnic cleansing and genocide by Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats have had a tremendous effect on the territorial distribution of the population. Partially due to this, a notable Bosniak diaspora exists in a number of countries, including Austria, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Turkey, Canada and the United States. Both within the region and throughout the world, Bosniaks are often noted for their unique culture, which has been influenced by both eastern and western civilizations and schools of thought over the course of their history.