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Hilarious Estonia: Part I

Pictures: Hillar Mets Text: Rohke Debelakk

On The Types of Estonian People

People living in Estonia can roughly be divided into the following types: children. This type is more widespread in rural areas - the rush and bustle of life in the city usually deprives parents of such luxuries.

Then there are those types of indeterminate age who are not yet adults but are no longer children. It is common knowledge that they are not able to walk, hence society has accepted skateboards and roller skates as their means of transport, and is prepared to build smooth asphalt roads, all in the name of a bright future.

Students can be identified by their extremely worn-out appearance and their pensive expressions. They nevertheless possess an incredible amount of energy which makes them do unutterable things the description of which does not merit the printer’s ink.

There are various types of workmen: e.g. the time-honoured ploughman who sows and ploughs - unperturbed by bad weather and a hostile government, or even no harvest to speak of for 10 years in a row.

Then there are athletes. They spend very little time at home since they have to win glory for Estonia elsewhere, and will not return unless they have won something, or someone.

Misses and other women. There is usually not much variety in their appearance. All look exceptionally beautiful, and thus the beauty contests have long lost their popularity in Estonia.



Pensioners have suffered most over the years from the draughts of realpolitik: during the previous century their property was nationalised and denationalised five times in all. Quite a few of them have had to relinquish all they had for the good of society. In the literal sense of the word.

You may wonder where the politicians are. The answer is: everywhere. Every single inhabitant of Estonia is a politician of sorts, and at any point in time some of them can be found chucking in their socially useful jobs and take up politics. Not many return.


Published by courtesy of the authors and the Estonian Institute.