Integrate me!
Arvamus 03 Nov 2009 Vello VikerkaarEWR
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Vello Vikerkaar for Baltic Reports

I was recently invited to speak to an English class comprised of all Russian students. From time to time, it’s healthy to experience first hand the bitterness some young Russian speakers hold toward Estonians. This year’s understatement: some don’t like you very much.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if they had disliked Estonians for the right reasons (headcheese, milk soup), but sadly, their understanding of Estonians was about as informed as Borat’s view of the Jews. And not even half as funny.

I don’t know if the class was representative of the larger Russian population, but there were ten kids, seven of whom claimed to speak Estonian. The three who did not were the most bitter. All ten, though, said they did not interact with Estonians on a daily basis, except in forced environments.

The kids who didn’t speak Estonian seemed to sit at home and wait for Andrus Ansip to personally appear and integrate them. They had no interest in learning Estonian and looked to the West — particularly the UK — as the land of opportunity.

Read the rest of Vello’s article in Baltic Reports:
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