I thought it was a sign of recognition for his job, and in particular to the contribution to the Estonian culture through his work on the music albums of some of the current main Estonian artists.
José is a good man, and a simple one in fact. Dedicated to his work and family. He doesn’t show off, doesn’t do Tallinn’s „social circle“, hell, he doesn’t even get invited to the launches of the same albums he helps create.
But that is in his nature. And i respect that.
After almost 9 years living in Estonia and dealing with Estonian press, i should know better and avoid looking at the reader’s comments on articles like this. Usually, these are no more than a few users posts filled with bad manners, Estonian sarcasm and, surprise, racism…
Estonians seem to be addicted at this game of praising foreigners so only that everyone will have a shot at showing their discontent that someone chose Estonia as their new home. Its like: „we don’t like our home, but no one else is allowed to like it either“.
I can say with confidence, that most Portuguese that moved here, permanently or temporarily, did so as choice, not by need. Most of us had a choice of several possible destinations, yet we chose the land of Kalev.
Yet, it’s rare the day i catch a taxi in Tallinn (it’s not every day, but i do it once in a while) where the taxi driver, even if barely speaking English, gets breaking the ice by asking „Estonian girls… beautiful, hein?!?!“.
Hell, i have been in business meetings with Estonians, where after asking where i come from, the topic is immediately changed to „how beautiful Estonian girls are“, and strongly suggested i came here to „**ck“ them”…
The same way that in comments to José Diogo’s article, there was a few of them as to the main reason he moved in Tallinn would have to be the girls (and how the immigration law should be changed to limit foreigners, that horrible plague…).
It’s sad that Estonians in general seem to think the only natural resource the country has, is their female genetic pool. It seems to be unthinkable that some foreigner from Southern Europe can find the Estonian nature rich, the country’s history interesting, the small sized geography practical. For most Estonians i have met in last few years, it seems that i came here with a mission only: to get laid.
Well, here’s a news flash for those: Estonian’s are not the most intriguing woman on earth. Although definitely blessed with a gene that would make them stand out anywhere else, most of them are arrogant, incult and naive. If i had to guess where Paris Hilton got her bad manners, i would have said that she spent some time in Tallinn’s „social gatherings“ for a crash course. I’m not sure who invented the „whatever“ punch line, but by the amount of time i hear it in town, i would bet on the Estonian side…
To be fair, things were not always like this. I’ve been around long enough to remember when people where genuinely polite. Estonians were avid of new things, and any input to their society was welcomed with open arms.
I remember when, in early 2000’s, everyone was looking into Europe with hope and motivation. Where everyone would work hard in search of their piece of promised land. It was a bit of an utopic reverie, true, but it kept people going.
Now, it seems that no one wants to do anything, but they won’t let others do it as well. Protectionism took a new level in Estonia, where it shelters feelings as nationalism (in its purest form), racism, sexism and laziness, but disguises the repugnance most Estonians have for their country. They hate the weather, the politics, the roads, the hospitals, the schools, the alcoholism, the crime, the corruption… All this while they proudly raise the national flag for any small reason.
Estonians also seem to have short memory. Where for years they lived (actually they still do) on handouts from the European Union (where Portugal put money for 20 years, so I can proudly say that Estonia is still getting money my country donated to…), that Estonians emigrated throughout the world (Portugal included) and they were received with open arms (and still are, even if most of them also barely speak the local language), and that if not for the huge foreign direct investment, Estonia would never had a chance to put itself back on track after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Portugal also had many bad periods in its history. Once a great empire, we felt on our knees by our own mistakes and failures. But on a couple of occasions we also had to stand out to the Soviet Union. First, during our colonial wars (some call it the Portuguese Vietnam), where the Soviets armed and supported the “rebellions” and the United States secretly backed both sides.
Then, after our revolution in 1974, for a brief period, we almost had our government turned into a communist system.
But it was in 1987, that an already small Portugal gave its “white glove slap” to the mighty Soviet Union. When a group of Portuguese parliament members visiting the red state was called back on orders from the then Prime-Minister, Cavaco Silva (who currently serves as our president). The reason: they were about to start a visit to Estonia.
Portugal never recognized the incorporation of the Baltic States in Soviet Union, and therefore considered Estonia an independent country. As such a visit by parliament members to an occupied country would be unacceptable, and they were recalled back to Lisbon, much to anger of the bureau in Moscow at the time.
There would be too many more examples of how Estonians are forgetting nowadays where they came from. The only thing they know is how much they love to hate anything foreign (except of course for exclusive clothing brands and expensive cars).
Fortunately, I still have hope. Once in a while, there is a glimpse that there might be a brighter future. To be fair and honest, I also know the opposite, and am proud to count among my friends Estonians that think differently. That believe in their country. That are willing to stay and battle, even in hard times. That have a will to change things again.
And to those I pledge my allegiance.