Once again I'm feeling guilty for not writing a thing in two weeks (not that anybody seemed to notice), but I discovered Tim King's Letters from Estonia today, and thought I'd share.
An outsider's perspective is of utmost interest to residents of Estonia, with our small country syndrome. Estonians are rightly proud of their culture and appreciate comments by those unfamiliar with it.
My own perspective is slightly tilted as well. Estonia is a nation state, and I am not ethnically Estonian; however both my parents' families have lived on the territory of what is now Estonia before 1940, and in fact before 1918, which makes this as much my country as anyone else's. I'm what's technically known as an Estlander. It might not seem like much of a distinction, but trust me: in a country where permanent black residents can be counted on the finger of one very disfigured hand, it is.
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tens, if not hundreds of thousands of estlanders can survive without speaking a word in Estonian and they claim they are home. I guess it's not so hard on strange-looking people after all.
Oh, that's not true. Very few Estlanders, particularly outside the northeast, speak no Estonian at all. In my experience most are fairly fluent, for all practical purposes, even if they could never pass for a native speaker.
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