Estonia: the Try to Look Deeper

Uncategorized — Антон Марчуков @ 30.04.07 15:28

Consider reading the report by Amnesty International Linguistic minorities in Estonia: Discrimination must end, I cannot say that it’s unbiased and objective cause I do not have enough information about the topic covered there and opinions on the web are quite different. You can see criticism and response section in Wikipedia’s atricle as well to have the idea of how much this report can be trusted. Also the Amnesty Internationals’ reports is rather well cited and sourced.

But, at least to me this shows that the problem mentioned here exists in Estonia to some extent. And it well explains why this protest happens in Estonia. Having considerable part of population living in the country without vote right (grey passports, 10% in Estonia) just does not allow the democracy work as intended there and such a situation may well explode after some period of time. I think that is what happened in Estonia and the monument on Tõnismägi was just the cause, the last escalation step to burn the fire.

I am not going to flame about keeping Estonian Identity vs Rights of the Language Minority here. The easy way for them is to deport the Russians out of Estonia including those who was born there from the parents with grey passports, cause they are USSR occupants that invaded the country leaving alone the fact that they did not invade by themselves and just happened to be left in this country after the World War II. This will work nice for Estonian Identity, but it is not accepted by international community nowadays. The other way is a try to integrate people into current society and help them assimilate there, that is what Estonian government tries to do, but according to the report mentioned here, blog posts and protests in Estonia, the process of integration is not going well.

I am not a big specialist in social issues, but e.g. Finland still keeps Sweden as national language having only 5.5% of Swedish speakers there (25.67% of Russian speakers in Estonia) and also the Sweden language was brought to Finland during the time when it was under Swedish rule. I do not see that Finnish Identity is harmed much. So the point is that the problem in Estonia has nothing to do with the monument and it was just the last escalation step to burn the more deeper problems in the society.

Links:

Linguistic minorities in Estonia: Discrimination must end
The original report by Amnesty International, may be biased to some extent

Demographics and Estonia: An Overview
Nice blog post of an opposite view that is not worst reading


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