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Estonian on Soviet Union

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Some boob on Reddit got their panties in a bunch about how Estonian responded to some Soviet nostalgia... His response was brilliant:

    I am very sorry if I have offended you or used wording that made you feel this way. I am NOT saying that I have any idea what most of the people had to live through. However, what you seem to miss completely is the longer effects of the Soviets. Let me try to explain this.

    The dream of the Soviets was to lose all nationalities. To do this they mixed people. The basic way to do this was quite simple, really. All people in the Soviet Union had to work. In democratic countries, everyone has the right not to work, if they choose to do so. Not back then. Everyone was assigned a job. If you finished school with a profession, you were assigned a workplace. Usually it was nearby, but a percentage of people were assigned a place outside their home state.

    A good example is my gfs (girlfriend's) father, who was brought here from Kazakhstan. These people were considered lucky and unlucky at the same time. They had to move away from their family and friends and usually wouldn't be able to go back, only for holidays. However they were always on priority lists. See, in the Soviet times, if you wanted something, you filled in an application and the state would give or sell it to you.

    If you wanted to buy a car, you would have to get the money and then wait until they made you a car. However there were more applicants and money than there were cars.(little note, in 1990, for every ruble you had, there were products for only 11 kopiks(cents)) So being on top of the lists meant a lot. My grandfather waited 10 years for his car, a foreigner in his hometown had to wait 3 months. The same thing with stuff like an apartment, phone etc. So you can imagine most of the foreigners were quite happy with the USSR. Anything they needed, the state would provide.

    Now imagine this kind of nationality mix-matching for decades. In 1990, there were about 55% of Estonians in Estonia, mostly due to foreigners coming in. Then Estonia regained independence and soon the Soviet Union collapsed. Many people went/came back home, but most stayed put. Now, there are about 70% Estonians in Estonia and about 25% people who refer to themselves as Russians. That also consist of people like my gfs father, who is actually from Kazakhstan. Think about the situation of these people: they have lived here for long years already, they have a family, a steady job etc. Now they are suddenly forced to learn a new language and the state doesn't provide them with almost anything compared to what they got before. This is actually a very big problem in Estonia. On one side, there are Estonians, who say "Russians" don't speak Estonian, don't respect Estonian culture, don't want to work hard and are constantly complaining and mutilating history etc. On the other hand, the "Russians" were forced here against their will and were thrown from a seemingly perfect state to a cruel one. To their mind, the Soviet Union indeed was all good and well and not a cruel and unforgiving state. They really do support Russia, they really want USSR back, and can you really blame them? This of course causes endless problems in politics and everyday life.

    My fathers father is Estonian, mother Russian. He was born on the streets of Moscow and left behind to live on his own. He hasn't told much about it because he says it was too terrible to even remember. He thinks his memory has actually altered his memories to hide the worst parts, because he has blank spots. Either that or hunger. When father was about 10, my grandfather finally found him and brought him home. He grew up and was one of the first ones to rebel in the first "uprising" in Estonia. The next day he was brought in for "questioning". He was tied up, tortured, beaten up and sexually assaulted, even though he didn't even hide any facts. My mother is a proud Estonian, with no direct horror stories of the Soviets. My gfs father denies that there were homeless people in the Soviet Union. He was taught that the Union protects everyone and because it gave him everything he needed, he thought that everyone else got everything as well. So homeless people are literally impossible in his mind. He also says there were no torturing or prisons in USSR. Despite all the documents and even video. I was brought up in the sense that being Russian is bad. When I was small and I peed in the shower, I was told Russians do that and "You don't want to be Russian, do you?" etc. So no, I have not felt the horrors of the Soviets. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't affect me. I still get negative emotions linked with everything that reminds me of Soviets. I hope this explains my reaction a bit.

    Allene likes this.
  2. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member


    Screenshot from 2014-07-25 13:35:51.png
    Allene likes this.
  3. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    That was a very interesting post.
    ethics likes this.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

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