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Äike
06-24-2010, 01:38 PM
Estonian Swedes (http://www.einst.ee/factsheets/factsheets_uus_kuju/estonian_swedes.htm#top)

Estonian Swedes are one of the earliest known minorities in Estonia. They have also been called Coastal Swedes, or according to their settlement area Ruhnu Swedes, Hiiu Swedes etc. They themselves used the poetic expression ‘aibofolke’ — ‘Island People’.

Settlement

The ancient areas of Swedish settlement in Estonia are Ruhnu Island, Hiiumaa Island, the west coast and smaller islands (Vormsi, Noarootsi, Sutlepa, Riguldi, Osmussaar), the north-west coast of the Harju District (Nõva, Vihterpalu, Kurkse, the Pakri Peninsula and the Pakri Islands) and Naissaar Island near Tallinn. The towns with a significant percentage of Swedish population have been Haapsalu and Tallinn.

In earlier times Swedes have also lived on the coasts of Saaremaa, the southern part of Läänemaa, the eastern part of Harjumaa and the western part of Virumaa.

A Historical Survey

The oldest records of Swedish settlers in Estonia go back to the turn of the 13–14th century, earlier data are vague and controversial. The first written mention of Swedes is in the town bylaws of Haapsalu from 1294. A letter of the Bishop of Kuramaa dated 1341 prescribed the settlement of the Swedes on Ruhnu according to the ‘Swedish Law’. In 1345 Padise Monastery sold the Laoküla Estate and Suur-Pakri Island to the Swedes.

The settlement of Swedes in Estonia can most probably be connected to a similar Swedish migration to the coastal areas of Finland in the 13–15th centuries. Research in traditional culture, toponyms and dialects indicate that large numbers of Swedes arrived in Estonia via Finland. The settlement of Swedes in the coastal areas of Estonia has also been considered to be deliberate colonisation. It should also be mentioned that most of the earliest colonised areas belonged to the Church (the Bishop of Saaremaa and Läänemaa, Padise Monastery).

The ‘Swedish Law’, which formed the basis for Swedish settlement in Estonia in principle amounted to limited financial responsibility and individual freedom. These privileges were confirmed by later authorities in various documents. Individual freedom in particular distinguished the Swedes from the Estonian peasants who were first attached to the soil and later forced into serfdom.

During the Swedish time following the disintegration of the Teutonic Order, the situation of the Estonian Swedes worsened. The secularised lands of the Church and monasteries were given as fiefs to the nobility, land used by peasants was included in the land of manors, and taxes and financial responsibility increased. Feudal lords did not recognise the special legal status of the Swedes and treated them in the same manner as the Estonian serfs. This was the cause of many long-drawn-out controversies and even fights between Swedish peasants and feudal lords. Nor did the situation change during the Russian period following the Great Northern War. In many places the Swedes even lost the rights they had before. The struggle for their rights sometimes led to the disappearance of their settlement, for example, the case of the forced exodus of the Hiiumaa Swedes to Russia in the 18th century. In the places where the Swedes lost their special status, they merged rapidly with the Estonians. The Agrarian Reform Laws of 1816 liberated Estonian peasants from serfdom, but this law did not apply to the Swedes, neither had they the right to any form of self-government nor education. The situation improved somewhat with the agrarian reform laws of the 1850s and 1860s, but economic and educational backwardness lingered until the end of the tsarist period.

The creation of the independent Republic of Estonia in 1918 brought about a considerable change in the situation. The agrarian reform liquidated manors and the land was given to peasants. Until then an almost natural economy type of farming had been prevalent in the Estonian Swedish areas, a small percentage of the farming products had been sold in nearby markets. Now the cultivation of village community strips of land was completely replaced by farming, which also caused an increase in agricultural production. Ships with several masts were built, sea trading and the export of agricultural products was developed, in some places tourism grew in importance.

The first constitution of the Republic of Estonia provided the ethnic minorities in Estonia with effective guarantees: education in their native tongue, the choice of nationality, the right to form institutions for the protection of their national and social rights, the right to use their native language in official procedures where a given nation formed the majority of the population. Like other ethnic minorities — the Germans, the Russians, the Jews — the Swedes also had at first their own national minister in the government, later their national secretary in the Ministry of Education. The Swedes also founded their own political organisation (Svenska Folkförbundet) and started to publish a newspaper in Swedish Kunstbon. The law on cultural autonomy which came into force in 1925, was unique in Europe and offered even more rights to the ethnic minorities, unfortunately at the expense of these same minorities. All the opportunities provided by the cultural autonomy were used by the Jews and the Germans, who were said to have received financial support from abroad. For predominantly financial reasons the Russians and the Swedes confined themselves to what the institution of the national secretary could guarantee.

In 1939 the Soviet Union forced Estonia to sign the so-called treaty of military bases. According to this pact, the ancient Estonian Swedish islands — Osmussaar, Suur-and Väike-Pakri and Naissaar — became territories for military bases and their inhabitants had to leave their homes. In 1940 the Estonian system of government was changed with the support of Soviet army, and Estonia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. Even before formal unification, widespread arrests started. Most of the leading figures of Estonia — state officials, clergymen, officers, businessmen, teachers — were deported to Siberia and assassinated. As a result of this repression the Estonian Swedes lost an influential part of their ethnic group.

When the war between Germany and the Soviet Union started in 1941, many Estonian Swedes were also enlisted in the Soviet army. Soon the Soviet occupation was replaced by the German one, the men who had avoided the first enlisting were taken now into the German army, and many of them decided to take refuge in Sweden. In the course of the war it gradually became clear that the Germans would be forced to retreat and the new arrival of the Soviet army was imminent. Therefore people tried to find ways to escape to Sweden. An agreement with the occupying power was reached and from 1943 to 1944 several thousands of Estonian Swedes managed to reach Sweden by ship. The total number of Estonian Swedes who left during the war was some 7000; about a thousand remained in Estonia. Those who stayed had almost no chance to preserve their characteristic way of life and culture under the Soviet occupation. All the Swedish schools were closed. The main occupations of the Swedes — seafaring and coastal fishing were forbidden and the coastal areas were fenced off with barbed wire. The farms were ruined in the process of forced collectivisation. Contact with relatives living in Sweden ceased for many years.

Population

There are no reliable data on the size of the Swedish population in Estonia in earlier centuries. The reasons are obvious — the censuses were haphazard, only men were counted, the nationality of residents was not recorded etc. Therefore only some estimations can be presented.

By the end of the Teutonic era, in the 1560s, the total number of Swedish households in Estonia was about 1000. Adding to this the number of Swedes living in towns (in Tallinn about 1500) we can say that the total number of Swedes was at least 5–7 thousand, according to some sources 10 000. The total population of Estonia at the time was 200 000–300 000, so the Swedes formed about 2–3% of it.

The data of plague victims from 1711 to 1712: Vormsi Island 161 dead and 463 survivors, Noarootsi parish 1259 dead and 683 survivors, Swedish villages on Hiiumaa 328 dead and 448 survivors, Harju area, Risti and Harju-Madise parishes 72.2 per cent dead, including Suur-Pakri 123 dead, 70 survivors, Väike-Pakri 147 dead and 47 survivors, Ruhnu 213 dead and 80 survivors. By 1726 the number of residents on Vormsi Island had reached 906, in Noarootsi 1448. The population increased equally rapidly in other areas.


According to the census of 1922 the population of Estonia was 1 107 000, the number of Swedes was 7850 (0,7%).

http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/4973/1934.png

The data from post-war censuses were published only selectively, some having been declared confidential. The number of Swedes in Estonia was not presented separately, it was included in the category ‘other nations’. It should also be borne in mind that the accuracy of the data was influenced by a fear going back to the earlier repressions — people were afraid to call themselves Swedes.

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/6939/tnots.png

In 1989 the Swedes occupied 26th place among all the Estonian minorities.

At present when there are no restrictions on one's national identity, and many people of Estonian Swedish origin have had an opportunity to study Swedish, the number of people who consider themselves Swedish is certainly larger.

The Educational Situation

The first peasant school in northern Estonia was founded in 1650 in Noarootsi and it was Swedish, but it was also an exception and a relatively short-lived one. At the same time even the 17th century church inspection documents mention a general ability to read among the Estonian Swedes. This was achieved by home instruction and Sunday schools. The parsons organising Sunday schools and confirmation classes sometimes came from Sweden, sometimes from Finland, quite often they were Baltic Germans. In smaller parishes there was often no parson for several years, then literacy had to be acquired at home. Parish elementary schools for Estonian children had been founded in several places as early as the 18th century already. The agrarian reform law of 1816 prescribed the foundation of primary schools all over the country, but it did not include the Estonian Swedes. The schools in Estonian Swedish areas were established only after the agrarian laws of 1850–60s had been passed. The missionary Thorén, who arrived from Sweden in 1873, founded a training college for teachers in Noarootsi. It did not operate for long, but nevertheless made an important contribution to the spread of education in Swedish. During the last decades of the century the policy of russification intensified, Thorén's college was closed, Russian became the language of instruction, in schools, Swedish was allowed only in the classes of native language and religious instruction. At the beginning of the 20th century the pressure of russification weakened and a national movement started among the Swedes as well. In 1902 Johan Nyman and Hans Pöhl started to publish a calendar in Swedish, in 1909 an educational society (Svenska Odlingens Vänner) was founded. It supported Swedish schools and organised educational and cultural activities in Swedish areas.

In 1920 the Pürksi Agricultural and Adult Education courses were opened (the first adult education courses in Estonia!). From 1920 to 1943 the number of students attending was 577. In 1931 a private Swedish gymnasium was opened in Haapsalu. By 1943 50 students had completed it. In the period before World War II the Estonian Swedes had altogether 20 elementary schools, adult education courses and a gymnasium.

Language

The Estonian Swedish dialects belong to the eastern dialects of the Swedish language. As these dialects were comparatively isolated from the mother country, they have preserved many characteristics of the more archaic Swedish language and are only partly understandable to the speaker of modern Swedish. Several different dialect areas can be distinguished in Estonian Swedish dialects: Ruhnu, Vormsi-Noarootsi-Riguldi, Pakri-Vihterpalu. The language spoken on Hiiumaa Island has been preserved as the dialect of Gammalsvenskby. On Naissaare Island distinct dialectic characteristics became extinct as early as the 19th century.

There are still a couple of dozens to one hundred people who know an Estonian Swedish dialect in Estonia, a couple of hundred to a thousand in Sweden. It is probably possible to keep these dialects alive by consciously using them in literature, for instance. They will probably not be restored as an everyday language. The situation of modern Swedish is quite different however. It is studied both by the descendants of the Estonian Swedes and by Estonians who want to establish contact with their neighbouring country. The number of Estonians who speak Swedish to some extent is probably comparable to the former number of Estonian Swedes.

A Short Survey of Estonian - Swedish Areas and Toponyms

The spelling of Estonian Swedish toponyms has always been problematic. All the larger centres also had a parallel Estonian name, the local Swedish name has been adapted to the spelling of the Estonian, German or Russian, and it has also undergone change by the Swedes who do not know the local dialect. Below the most widely known Swedish toponym is given first, and is followed by the parallel Estonian name in brackets.

Runö (Ruhnu)

Ruhnu is famous for its seal hunting and its really archaic traditions. The tradition of rural community order was in force on the island until the departure of the Swedes in 1944. The folk costume of Ruhnu, decorated with bobbin lace, was also very colourful, and folk costume was worn by men as well. The church of St. Magdalen, which dates from 1644, is the oldest wooden church in Estonia — another partly preserved ancient building is Korsi farmhouse. Both the church and the farmhouse are undergoing restoration at present.

Dagö (Hiiumaa)

The centres of Swedish settlement in Hiiumaa were Röicks (Reigi) and Kertell (Kärdla). Due to a quarrel with the landlord, more than a thousand Swedes from Reigi were forced to move to southern Russia in 1781. The colony set up there is called Gammalsvenskby. In 1929 about 800 residents of Gammalsvenskby emigrated to Sweden. Most of them have settled in Gotland and they have their own centre and museum attached to the Roma Church. However, there are still Swedish speakers in Gammalsvenskbyn, which now belongs to Ukraine. The Swedes of Kärdla were made to leave their home at the beginning of the 19th century, when their land was taken over by a landlord and a cloth factory was built in Kärdla. There are only a few descendants of the Swedes still living in Hiiumaa now.

Ormsö (Vormsi)

Vormsi was one of the most central settlement areas of the Swedes. Long traditions found expression in colourful folk costumes and in one of the most unique musical instruments in northern Europe — talharpa (hiiu kannel, Swedish kannel, stråkharpa) which every man had to learn to play and which was also known in Noarootsi. This musical tradition and a considerable part of the traditional heritage was ruined by a religious awakening movement initiated by a Swedish missionary, L. J. Österblom, who lived on the island from 1873 to 1887. After World War II there were less than a hundred Swedes living in the island. The number of Swedes has started to grow again due to the return of former inhabitants from Sweden. Between 1988 and 1990, the 13th–14th century St. Olaf’s church, which had been almost completely destroyed in the post-war period, was restored and its consecration turned into a powerful manifestation of the Estonian Swedish movement.

Hapsal (Haapsalu)

Since the first mention of the Swedes in the by-laws of the town in 1294, Haapsalu has been the ‘capital’ of the Estonian Swedes. From 1931 to 1943 a Swedish private gymnasium was open here. At present the Centre of Estonian Swedish Culture is situated in Haapsalu, there are also adult education courses and in the future The Estonian Swedish Museum will be founded here.

Nuckö - Sutlep - Rickul - Odensholm. (Noarootsi - Sutlepa - Riguldi - Osmussaar)

The area of the former Noarootsi parish includes the once central settlements of the Estonian Swedes — the Noarootsi Peninsula with its administrative centre in Paslepa (an island until the 19th century), Sutlepa, Riguldi and Osmussaar. Now the centre of the district is Birkas (Pürksi), from 1920 to 1943 the local manor house was used for adult education courses. In addition to the basic school, a Swedish-biased gymnasium has been established in the restored manor house. An 18th century parsonage, now being restored, stands next to the St. Catherine’s church which was built in the 13th–14th century. In Rooslepa the ruins of a chapel have been conserved. Adult education courses will be started in the former manor house of Paslepa. Osmussaar was at the disposal of the Soviet Army and the only old building preserved there is the lighthouse. There are plans to create a geological preserve and a research base here, there is a remarkable bank of limestone on the northern coast of the island. There are about 50 Swedes living in the whole district now, and their number is increasing due to the return of many people from Sweden.

Vippal-Kors - Korkis - Padis - St. Matthias. (Vihterpalu-Risti - Kurkse - Padise - Harju-Madise)

The western part of the Harju area had a mixed Swedish-Estonian population, there were more Swedes in Vihterpalu and Kurkse. The educational society Svenska Odlingens Vänner founded a Swedish school in Kurkse in 1909. In 1935 the joint efforts of the local people resulted in the building of a school in the Alliklepa Village in Vihterpalu. In Vihterpalu there is now a small, but active, Estonian Swedish community. Again, the former residents of the area have started to return from Sweden.

Stora och Lilla Rågö (Suur- ja Väike-Pakri)

This ancient Estonian Swedish area was exceptionally rich in traditional culture. The medieval bag-pipes were used here even in the 20th century, the folk costumes with their abundance of bobbin lace were very picturesque. In 1935 the first local heritage museum in Estonia was opened in an old chimneyless farmhouse in Väike-Pakri. During the Soviet occupation the islands were used for bombing training and all the old buildings are in ruins. Now the chapel in Suur-Pakri is being restored and people are moving back to the islands.

Nargö (Naissaar)

The first Swedish settlers probably came to Naissaar in the 14th–15th century. During subsequent wars the island was emptied of its residents several times, but the predominantly Swedish population returned after the wars. Due to this situation there are no distinct dialects or traditional culture characteristics in Naissaar. The main occupations of the inhabitants of the island were the fishing and pilotage of ships in Tallinn harbour. During the Soviet occupation sea mines were deposited here, but they have since been deactivated. The island is meant to be turned into a nature tourism area. Hopefully the former residents of the island will be able to return to their homes.

Reval (Tallinn)

At the beginning of the 16th century there were 1300–1500 Swedes living in Tallinn, forming about a quarter of the total population of the town. The Swedes had their own congregation at the Mihkli monastery-church in Tallinn. After the Great Nordic War this was turned into a Russian garrison church, and the Swedes had to convert an old workhouse in Rüütli Street into a church. The number of the Swedes decreased steadily until the 19th century, when the Swedes from the other parts of Estonia started to move to Tallinn. At the end of the tsarist period a Swedish elementary school was opened in Tallinn. In addition to the church and the school, the Swedish educational society, Svenska Odlingens Vänner, was active in Tallinn. When Soviet planes bombed Tallinn on 9 March 1944, the schoolhouse was destroyed and the church was damaged. After the war the church was turned into a sports building. In 1990 the Swedish Mihkli congregation was reinstated and since 1993 the church building also belonged to it. At present the congregation is trying to find funds for the restoration of the church. The congregation links the activities of the Estonian Swedes in Tallinn and in the neighbourhood.

Estonian Swedes in Sweden

The Estonian Swedes in Sweden have assembled around the Svenska Odlingens Vänner, which acted as an educational society in Estonia, but in a new situation it concentrated on the recording and researching of the material and intellectual culture of the Estonian Swedes and on organising social activities. The central society had its branches: Runöbornas Förening, Ormsö Hembygdsförening, Rickul-Nuckö Hembygdsförening, Odensholms Byalag, Rågöföreningen, Nargöbornas Förening. There are also village societies. In 1985 a sub-society for the younger generation Svenska Odlingens Nya Generation was founded. Vast archives, a library and a small museum have been founded and a great deal of scientific research material, surveys, memoirs and fiction have been published. The issuing of the publication of the society Kunstbon continues.

Contact address:
Kulturföreningen Svenska Odlingens Vänner
Roslagsgatan 57, 1/2 tr ner
S - 113 56 Stockholm

telephone from Sweden 08-612 75 99
from abroad +46-8 612 75 99
fax from Sweden 08-612 77 85
from abroad +46-8-612 77 85

Eestlased Rootsis:
http://www.rel.ee/est/eestlased_rootsis.htm

The Cultural Society of Estonian Swedes

The society was founded on 27 February 1988. It was the first ethnically based society in Estonia. The society welcomes everybody who takes an interest in the cultural heritage of the Estonian Swedes. The society collects, preserves, researches and presents the Estonian Swedish cultural heritage, supports the cultural and economical development of the Estonian Swedish areas and the teaching of Swedish all over Estonia. There is close contact with Estonian Swedish organisations in Sweden, with Finnish Swedes and many other organisations and institutions in Nordic countries.

Contact address:
10 Lahe Street,
90503
Haapsalu

Phone from Estonia 047 44 256
from abroad +372 - 47 - 44 256

Rannarootsi Muuseum (Museum of coastal swedes):
http://www.aiboland.ee/
Sadama 31/32
90502
Haapsalu

Tel/Fax: 047-37165
E-mail: [email protected]

Moonbird
07-14-2010, 03:04 PM
There are still a couple of dozens to one hundred people who know an Estonian Swedish dialect in Estonia, a couple of hundred to a thousand in Sweden. It is probably possible to keep these dialects alive by consciously using them in literature, for instance. They will probably not be restored as an everyday language. The situation of modern Swedish is quite different however. It is studied both by the descendants of the Estonian Swedes and by Estonians who want to establish contact with their neighbouring country. The number of Estonians who speak Swedish to some extent is probably comparable to the former number of Estonian Swedes.


I have recently come across some Estonians living in Finland who have spoken a very good Swedish, and I must say that I have been surprised and impressed by their interest and positive attitude towards the Swedish language.

esaima
07-15-2010, 11:31 AM
[QUOTE=Vonnita;238953]
Indeed, Swedes are popular here.
Estonians, btw, tend sometimes to love to have some foreign ancestors in their pedigree. Why-i can not explain it very well.Maybe because our smallness. But it is sometimes a bit ironic:
So, overwhelmingly most "popular" ancestors are Swedes. The second place belongs to German ancestors and then finally comes the third group of "less reputable" foreign ancestors: Finns (nb!), Russians, Latvians, Poles etc.

Äike
07-15-2010, 12:07 PM
Indeed, Swedes are popular here.
Estonians, btw, tend sometimes to love to have some foreign ancestors in their pedigree. Why-i can not explain it very well.Maybe because our smallness. But it is sometimes a bit ironic:
So, overwhelmingly most "popular" ancestors are Swedes. The second place belongs to German ancestors and then finally comes the third group of "less reputable" foreign ancestors: Finns (nb!), Russians, Latvians, Poles etc.

I have never heard of this before? I may have minor Estonian-Swede ancestry, but I am 100% Estonian in heart nor do many people know at all that I have Estonian-Swede ancestry.

3/4 of my ancestors come from Western-Estonia, it's not my fault that I have Estonian-Swede ancestry.

Maybe you would like to have foreign ancestors, but I haven't noticed anything like that among Estonians. In my opinion, you're trolling your own ethnicity again, if you're not Russian.

esaima
07-17-2010, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE]3/4 of my ancestors come from Western-Estonia, it's not my fault that I have Estonian-Swede ancestry.
Maybe you would like to have foreign ancestors, but I haven't noticed anything like that among Estonians.
This was not my originial thought, I saw an article in an Estonian newspaper.
Maybe it was a whimsy of that authour but not totally pointless, imo.

In my opinion, you're trolling your own ethnicity again, if you're not Russian
I have nothing against those who have some foreign roots. I am Estonian.
Trolling?:coffee: Maybe some of my posts are sometimes critical towards Estonian current situation.But is it forbidden?Is it so that you consider all thoughts which you don´t support just trolling?:confused:

Äike
07-18-2010, 04:45 PM
This was not my originial thought, I saw an article in an Estonian newspaper.
Maybe it was a whimsy of that authour but not totally pointless, imo.

I have nothing against those who have some foreign roots. I am Estonian.
Trolling?:coffee: Maybe some of my posts are sometimes critical towards Estonian current situation.But is it forbidden?Is it so that you consider all thoughts which you don´t support just trolling?:confused:

Well, an Estonian who doesn't consider Finns to be our brothers and Finland a brother nation, is an extreme rarity. You are very critical towards Swedes and Finns for some reason.

The Ripper
07-19-2010, 09:20 AM
Well, an Estonian who doesn't consider Finns to be our brothers and Finland a brother nation, is an extreme rarity. You are very critical towards Swedes and Finns for some reason.

Esäimä has stated that Finns are the closest ethnicity to Estonians, on several occassions if I recall.

Äike
07-19-2010, 09:51 AM
Esäimä has stated that Finns are the closest ethnicity to Estonians, on several occassions if I recall.

Esäimä has said that Finns are our cousins, not brothers. Recently I talked to some Finns at the rally in Southern-Estonia, they said that Estonians are their brothers and it's sad that we were separated for 50 years. One of the Finns spoke very good Estonian for a guy who lives 40km from Helsinki.

The Ripper
07-19-2010, 10:02 AM
Esäimä has said that Finns are our cousins, not brothers. Recently I talked to some Finns at the rally in Southern-Estonia, they said that Estonians are their brothers and it's sad that we were separated for 50 years. One of the Finns spoke very good Estonian for a guy who lives 40km from Helsinki.

Then the conclusion you should draw is that esäimä does not place as much weight on such meta-ethnic identifications as you or some others do. However, he has said that Finns are closest, never mind cousins, aunts or in-laws.

Finns in general know pathetically little about Estonia and Estonians (because they do not care). This is the sad truth.

Äike
07-19-2010, 10:14 AM
Then the conclusion you should draw is that esäimä does not place as much weight on such meta-ethnic identifications as you or some others do. However, he has said that Finns are closest, never mind cousins, aunts or in-laws.

Still, the majority of Estonians think that Finns are our brothers.


Finns in general know pathetically little about Estonia and Estonians (because they do not care). This is the sad truth.

That's true, I was very surprised when I met a Finn who spoke very good Estonian, on Saturday. It isn't hard at all to learn Estonian for a Finn, but it's the Estonians who learn Finnish.

The Ripper
07-19-2010, 10:21 AM
Still, the majority of Estonians think that Finns are our brothers.

What's the cousin to brother ratio? ;)


That's true, I was very surprised when I met a Finn who spoke very good Estonian, on Saturday. It isn't hard at all to learn Estonian for a Finn, but it's the Estonians who learn Finnish.

There are obvious reasons for that, though.

Moonbird
07-21-2010, 09:47 AM
Indeed, Swedes are popular here.
Estonians, btw, tend sometimes to love to have some foreign ancestors in their pedigree. Why-i can not explain it very well.Maybe because our smallness. But it is sometimes a bit ironic:
So, overwhelmingly most "popular" ancestors are Swedes. The second place belongs to German ancestors and then finally comes the third group of "less reputable" foreign ancestors: Finns (nb!), Russians, Latvians, Poles etc.

We Finland-Swedes are also very proud of having Swedish ancestors.:thumb001:

esaima
07-21-2010, 10:00 AM
Well, an Estonian who doesn't consider Finns to be our brothers and Finland a brother nation, is an extreme rarity.
Well,I spoke only about languages. I am not a linguist myself but just wanted to say what I have heard and read from linguists and it seems that linguists think that Estonian and Finnish languages are linguistical cousins.But there can be different opinions as well.
Estonian and Finnish languages are not as similar as Swedish and Norwegian but it seems that their similarity is bigger than the similarity between Latvian and Lithuanian, for example.

If to talk about my humble opinion...My attitude towards Finns and Swedes is friendly:)

esaima
01-23-2011, 11:40 AM
Estonians, btw, tend sometimes to love to have some foreign ancestors in their pedigree. Why-i can not explain it very well.Probably because our smallness.

But it is sometimes a bit ironic:
So,seems that most "popular" ancestors are Swedes. The second place belongs to German ancestors and then finally comes the third group of "less reputable" foreign ancestors: Finns (nb!), Russians, Latvians, Poles etc.

Äike
01-23-2011, 11:50 AM
Estonians, btw, tend sometimes to love to have some foreign ancestors in their pedigree. Why-i can not explain it very well.Probably because our smallness.

But it is sometimes a bit ironic:
So,seems that most "popular" ancestors are Swedes. The second place belongs to German ancestors and then finally comes the third group of "less reputable" foreign ancestors: Finns (nb!), Russians, Latvians, Poles etc.

You definitely have some Latvian, Russian and Polish ancestors, otherwise your wouldn't think that Estonians are Eastern-Europeans and Indo-European Baltic Balts. The majority of Estonians do not have foreign ancestors, stop making up things.

EWtt
01-23-2011, 12:55 PM
The majority of Estonians do not have foreign ancestors, stop making up things.

What happened after the pleaques, famines, the Livonian War, the Great Northern War? Foreigners did come to settle open farmlands. Most came from neighboring areas, for example Finns made up a substantial population of Virumaa at one point, and eventually they became assimilated. While people in towns became Germanized, people in the countryside usually became Estonianized.

All this happened prior to the Estonian National Awakening, so this is about some Estonians having distant foreign ancestry, Estonians having recent foreign ancestors is indeed completely another thing.


So,seems that most "popular" ancestors are Swedes. The second place belongs to German ancestors and then finally comes the third group of "less reputable" foreign ancestors: Finns (nb!), Russians, Latvians, Poles etc.

A very subjective matter... What kind of a Russophile would be ashamed of Russian ancestry?

I've met Estonians with Swedish, German, (Ingrian) Finnish, Russian, Polish and Latvian ancestry, among others. Not a single one of those Estonians was ashamed of their foreign ancestry, even if they had Finnish, Russian, Polish or Latvian ancestry. Quite the opposite, they were very interested in that part of their ancestry, while they still regarded themselves as proud Estonians.

esaima
01-23-2011, 12:57 PM
Estonians are Indo-European Baltic Balts. The majority of Estonians do not have foreign ancestors, stop making up things.
Estonians are genetically rather Balts than Finnics.But so or so genetically Estonians aren´t close to your idols-Swedes.What a pity.

esaima
01-23-2011, 01:55 PM
I've met Estonians with Swedish, German, (Ingrian) Finnish, Russian, Polish and Latvian ancestry, among others. Not a single one of those Estonians was ashamed of their foreign ancestry, even if they had Finnish, Russian, Polish or Latvian ancestry. Quite the opposite, they were very interested in that part of their ancestry, while they still regarded themselves as proud Estonians.

Indeed, that shows that Estonians may have pretty much foreign blood in their vessels, perhaps more than average Northern-European ethnicity has.

No, I didn´t want to say that somebody is or should be ashamed of his foreign ancestry.I have even noticed that things are often just opposite: some people seem to think that foreign ancestors make them "more interesting".

But I still think Germanic, especially Northern-Germanic ancestors are somewhat, how to say "overrated".Maybe it is somewhat connected the general tendency, the subliminal influences general of "Germanic supermacy" myth or simply the fact that the world´s most developed countries are mostly Germanic speaking ones or simly the fact that Scandinavians are seen (at least by Estonians) as somebody being "very different from Russians".Dunno.

EWtt
01-23-2011, 02:56 PM
Indeed, that shows that Estonians may have pretty much foreign blood in their vessels, perhaps more than average Northern-European ethnicity has.

Well, Finns have indeed been genetically pretty isolated compared to Estonians. Estonians' ancestors don't all come from the same place, but so is the case with most European nationalities.


No, I didn´t want to say that somebody is or should be ashamed of his foreign ancestry.I have even noticed that things are often just opposite: some people seem to think that foreign ancestors make them "more interesting".

Sure. People have usually only discussed it when some topic that relates to it comes up, and they've usually been very brief about it, not at all with a "in-your-face" attitude or trying to seem more interesting.


But I still think Germanic, especially Northern-Germanic ancestors are somewhat, how to say "overrated".Maybe it is somewhat connected the general tendency, the subliminal influences general of "Germanic supermacy" myth or simply the fact that the world´s most developed countries are mostly Germanic speaking ones or simly the fact that Scandinavians are seen (at least by Estonians) as somebody being "very different from Russians".Dunno.

I guess some people would just be more interested in finding out they partially descend from a Saxon nobleman/merchant or a Swedish military officer (i.e. someone with a higher status in society) than generations of Estonian or other Landsvolk ?

Äike
01-23-2011, 06:38 PM
What happened after the pleaques, famines, the Livonian War, the Great Northern War? Foreigners did come to settle open farmlands. Most came from neighboring areas, for example Finns made up a substantial population of Virumaa at one point, and eventually they became assimilated. While people in towns became Germanized, people in the countryside usually became Estonianized.

All this happened prior to the Estonian National Awakening, so this is about some Estonians having distant foreign ancestry, Estonians having recent foreign ancestors is indeed completely another thing.

Virumaa was 20% Finnish at one point, Harjumaa 12% Finnish. I was talking about recent ancestors, which modern Estonians know about, not distant(several hundred years back) ancestors. By recent I mean someone having at least one great great great grandparent who wasn't Estonian.

Most of the Latvians, Finns, Russians, Poles assimilated quite fast.


Estonians are genetically rather Balts than Finnics.But so or so genetically Estonians aren´t close to your idols-Swedes.What a pity.

On the contrary, Latvians are genetically rather Finnic, than Baltic.