Our people

Restless and peaceful, ambitious and cool-headed, rustic and tech-savvy: the Estonian people are the sum of their contradictions. At first glimpse, they may appear to be stereotypical northerners, quiet and thoughtful, slow to speak, easy does it, no need to hurry. Even the urbanites will tell you they prefer nothing more than to escape to the quiet idyll of a country house or a seaside cottage. In winter, they race each other on skis, in summer, they fan out across the land like busy ants. The roads are backed up with construction work and the long days parade by with a relentless agenda of festivals, concerts, and gatherings. On the summer solstice, the Estonians congregate around bonfires and snap photos with their smartphones. 

For these insatiable people, life is to be lived, and not a second of it to be wasted.

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Katri Raik “My Narva”

Estonians with their precision are the best Germans in the world.

Tiia Toomet “Fatherland summer”

The short northern summer. It was inevitably in our blood. […] The command pulsed in the subconscious mind of us all: use the time! Use it for the fleeting moment of warmth and light. Sing, dance, have a party!

Lennart Meri “Hõbevalge”

We know by name the sources of our springs and the larger trees, the bends in the rivers and the banks of the moraines, which we exactingly call mountains, and with each one there is some tradition. The earth speaks to us in our language.

Mihkel Mutt

To native Europeans, an Estonian is a slightly watered-down version, a spared European.

Sergei Dovlatov “Compromise”

I can immediately recognize an Estonian. Their appearance is never loud or bold. They always wear a tie and their trousers have a straight crease. They have a slightly weak chin and a calm look in their eyes.

Andrei Kuzitškin

I used to think that Estonians have a kind of frosty soul, which is why they are closed, do not tend to express any feelings, and are not, at first glance, very friendly. Now, however, I understand that in this way Estonians are protecting their souls from overflowing and their nerves from excessive stress.

Jaan Kross “Wikman’s Boys”

We Estonians are so few that the goal of every Estonian must be immortality!