Saturday, September 18, 2021

Traditions & Customs in Estonia

EuropeEstoniaTraditions & Customs in Estonia

When meeting a stranger, Estonians in general are surprisingly reticent to begin with. They don’t speak much in the way of social pleasantries or small chat; they just say what’s appropriate. Once you’ve broken the ice, you’ll find them to be open and honest.

Estonians maintain a physical distance from others. If it’s been a long time since you’ve seen each other, a hug may be appropriate.

In a discussion, do not raise your voice. The Estonian method of conducting business is to have a good, calm discussion, which is much appreciated.

Estonians are often extremely proud of their homeland and nation. As a tiny country, they were able to achieve independence and endure all of the hardships that decades of warfare had inflicted on them.

Contemporary history may be a touchy topic. Any favorable discussion about the USSR (or today’s Russia) among Estonians is frowned upon, but they will tell you anything if you ask.

Estonia has a population of 25% ethnic Russians, and even more people understand some Russian. Still, some individuals advise against striking up a discussion in Russian with strangers, since this may be considered impolite by some Estonians.