View Full Version : Estonian-Finnish Relations

The Ripper
03-01-2010, 09:07 AM
I think this topic is worth discussing.

How do you view the history of Finno-Estonian relations? What about the present? The future?

Would you see the strengthening of kinship ties as something positive, or are you indifferent? How do you view the Baltic Finnish "meta-ethnicity", which is largely extinct with the exceptions of the Finns and the Estonians?

03-01-2010, 11:57 AM
How do you view the history of Finno-Estonian relations?

In a very positive light! ;)

There were old migrations over both sides of the gulf, I hear the South-Western dialects of Finnish have Estonian influences; Finns once formed significant minorities in many parts of Estonia as well. Finnish volunteers in our War of Independence deserve the utmost respect! There was significant co-operation between our nations prior to World War II, even calls for a unified country (by the way, this was even supported by our president). Many Estonians (Soomepoisid) decided to fight beside our Northern brothers in the Winter and Continuance Wars.

What about the present?

Finnish contributions to Estonia since we regained independence have certainly helped our economy and development. Even though in some matters Estonia and Finland politically drift apart (relations with Russia, NATO membership). The Finnish military however serves as a good example to Estonia.

I think kinship is still valued, we have cultural similarities that reflect our tied Baltic-Finnic past. Finns remain the main tourists to Estonia, and not all of them come for cheaper products like alcohol (though Estonia was one of the main suppliers of alcohol to Finland during the time of your prohibition as well :P)

It is good to see many Finns taking interest in our country and language. The Finnish language can be learned in many of our secondary schools. Many Estonians have been working in Finland, although unfortunately some criminal element happens to move around as well (even if often they're "Estonians" named Dmitri, Ivan or Vladimir, they still earn proper Estonians a bad reputation abroad).

The future?

I hope that relations would become even closer, though our countries already have a lot of co-operation in many fields.

Unfortunately Estonia wasn't able to remain independent and the following years of occupation-stagnation created a gap between the development levels of Finland and Estonia - a gap that didn't exist before the war. I think this gap will eventually become more and more diminished and there will be a lesser chance to find any negative bits in our relations. ;)

Would you see the strengthening of kinship ties as something positive, or are you indifferent?

I'd see it as something positive.

How do you view the Baltic Finnish "meta-ethnicity", which is largely extinct with the exceptions of the Finns and the Estonians?

I view it as a continuum of closely tied languages and historical cultures. I feel certain closeness with all Baltic Finns - after all, they most likely first migrated elsewhere from the area of Estonia.

Though I also think there also exists some kind of a gap between Western Finnics (who shared Lutheran past and influence from Western European and Scandinavian cultures) and the Eastern Finnics who were historically under Orthodox Russian influence and never had a proper national awakening as the Estonians and Finns did. Nevertheless I'd still support their cultural and ethnic development and strife for their rights.

Only Estonians and Finns were capable of gaining independence while others remained under strong Russian pressure and suffered heavily under the Soviets, reaching near-extinction of their languages and cultures. Not much remains of the Livonians native to Northern Latvia, either. This is of course a tradegy.

03-01-2010, 01:01 PM
named Dmitri, Ivan or Vladimir:lol00002: Could you have thought up more stereotypical Russian names? :p

The Ripper
03-03-2010, 02:10 PM
I think that the very different approaches adopted by Finland and Estonia towards Russia and NATO will make stronger relations on the state-level difficult. Finland still clings to its "special relationship" that was dictated to it after the war in a "friendship & co-oepration" -treaty. Estonia, on the other hand has drawn "a line in the sand" in a way. Personally I would like to see a lowering of conflict with Russia - Both Russia and the rest of Europe would do well to concentrate their attention and energies elsewhere.

However, I'm more concerned with cultural exchange, and I don't see a lot of grass-roots organisation and co-operation over the water, at least no where near the same level prior to the war.

I personally became an Estophile after first reading a book about the Soomepoisid you mentioned and I've been gradually exploring Estonian culture, history and society form then on.

What saddens me most is the complete ignorance of Estonia that seems to be unfortunately common among Finns. Estonians in Finland should set-up some kind of cultural organisation with Finnish estophiles to encourage cultural exchange. :)

05-05-2010, 09:28 AM

:)Well, I think the relations between our countries are very good. If to look back to history one can notice that these relations were unusually close even in Soviet times despite the iron curtain. So, I think they donīt need any special development. Although sometimes it seems to me that a few Estonians feel a light younger brother complex: mention Finland in a negative light, moose jokes etc. one can say that predominating attitude is positive. I happened to read a poll in an Estonian newspaper a few days ago: the poll confirmed it, although the answerers were pretty whining and critical Estonian newspaper-readers.

The future? It is good than relations would become even closer. At the same time Iīd like to say that Estonia should remain a separate country/ethnos and I donīt handle it as a southern appendix of Finland.;)