(The following is a translated synopsis of an article published in Eesti Elu by Dr. Sirje Kiin, scholar of Estonian literature, author, essayist, translator, journalist, who has resided in the USA for the last ten years – prior to that in Estonia and Finland.)
We have for years wrestled with the existence of an ‘information space’, used by the Russian speaking minority in Estonia. We tend to forget that the indigenous people of the country, Estonians, urgently need an ‘infospace’ for themselves regardless of where they reside, study or work. And satisfying this need is just as crucial as breathing.
Depending on the source of the information, between 100,000 and 200,000 Estonians or those with Estonian heritage live broad. They speak Estonian (Dr. Kiin’s asssertion, not the translator’s) and own a basic interest in what happens in the country.
To put it mildly, the public media in Estonia provide very little coverage of the activities of Estonians abroad. In fact it seems, that those who have left Estonia for foreign shores also disappear from the image of Estonia’s media, like falling off the edge of the world. Sometimes it seems that the prison mentality of the Soviet era still dominates in Estonia whereby those Estonians in the West are traitors, to be punished by suppressing info about them or by labelling them with disparaging names. If someone studying or working abroad manages to have a piece published in Estonia, then that person is inundated with comments demanding that they do not own the right to express their views because they live elsewhere.
(Pikemalt Eesti Elu 28. aug. paberlehes)
Mutual `infospace`. New concept that has been in the making for years Estonian Life (1)