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Tallinn, Estonia

ESTONIA | Saturday, 16 May 2009 | Views [376] | Comments [1]

Much too gleeful, needs more punishment.

Much too gleeful, needs more punishment.

In only 18 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, Estonia has made enormous strides toward westernization.  We broke from our norm and joined a bus/walking tour today, and had a wonderful guide chock full of fun tidbits.  Estonia’s ports are still badly needed by the Russians, because the port of St. Petersburg freezes over for about amonth and a half each winter.  Fortunately, Estonia has its own deposits of oil shale, so it’s not as dependent on Russian petroleum products as are some other former Soviet satellites.  After WWII, a program of “Russification” began throughout the widening Soviet sphere.  In Estonia, several hundred thousand Russians were moved into a country that only had 1.5 million inhabitants.  Today, our guide said that 30% of the population is Russian-speaking, and the number is slowly declining.  Interestingly enough, despite its shared border with Russia, Estonians identify their ethnic roots more with Scandinavia and Germany.  The language has the same general sound of Swedish or Danish, the churches are all Lutheran, and the cars are almost exclusively German, with a couple of Volvo and Hondas thrown in.  A fun place to visit, we would definitely come back for a longer look.

 

Comments

1

You must be getting some very long day evenings being so far north. What fun. I have always been drawn by this upper Baltic area and it is great to hear you speak of the de-Russification going on in such a vital part of Europe.

  Stephen the Elder May 17, 2009 12:05 PM

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