kolmapäev, aprill 03, 2013

a little of that, a little of this

Is Estonia a very conservative country or a very liberal country? I cannot tell. Conservative, yes, conservative about language and about eating habits and about not whistling in houses (or else they'll burn!), but also liberal, yes, liberal as in having three children with three different men, none of whom have ever lived with you, none of whom have ever seen their offspring {and may not even be aware they exist, and you may not even know their last names} BUT ... Hush! Do not speak of such things! Because Estonia is a conservative place, where such things are not spoken of. Estonian gender roles are fixed and rigid and permeable and porous, even gaseous ... Consider: Härra Giustino's critique of Estonian men and their "golden hands" is actually a shrouded criticism of bimboland's wannabe Marilyn Monroe wimmin who are just {sigh} so dainty and {sigh} ladylike that they {sigh} can't be bothered with turning a screw three times clockwise ... That's MAN'S work, and besides, I just got my nails done!!! And yet there they are, the Estonian wimmin, stooping down in the dirt with all of those potatoes ... "Hey, pass the, uh, Sovetskoye Shampanskoye ... That's what's so great about talgud, you know ... *hiccup* you get to work in the outdoors [wipes sweat from face with dirty dirt-soiled hand] and get sun on your face and ...gluglugglug ... Hey, give me another sip of that wouldya?" Oh, Estonia, land of contrasts, land of flat taxation and state-run healthcare system, a little of this, a little of that, a little of that, a little of this ...

54 kommentaari:

TwD ütles ...

Brilliant!

Marko ütles ...

As a rule, generalisations in Estonia do not work. You'd be proven wrong on a daily basis. And I would also disagree on rigid gender roles. Compared to Britain, Estonian straight men can come across as being incredibly camp. Only in Estonia will a 45 year old father of three give flowers as a birthday present to his long serving car mechanic. And the mechanic, by the way, would be absolutely delighted to receive these! :) Also I would bet that your wife is more than capable to chop firewood, fix the roof, assemble flat back furniture etc. So it's not always what it seems. I actually believe that it's the women who run this country, behind the scenes. Sure, men are allowed to show off their balls and talk bullshit, but only up to a point - until the woman in their life puts an end to it, of course.

Good take on life's rich tapestry in Estonia, Giuostino.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Marko nailed it. I cannot stand estonian women bossiness. I had one barking order at me, and she is gone, gone, gone ...

Never had a relationship with an estonian women since. They may be pretty, but I look at them like I look at glossy magazine covers in a check out line. Don't care about the articles inside. :-)

Giustino ütles ...

Human beings are not rational. Estonian irrationality is different from American irrationality.

Ants Parder ütles ...

I don't really get the issue. Life is a paradox anyway and the gender roles are like rules which can twist turn and tangle others. I have been asked by my friends why is it when i am asked my opinion on any issue I always give the questioner all three? Is this an Estonian thing? Is this irrational or is this drifting into a deeper rationality?
I appreciate your take on life's tapestry, Giuostino . You have the capacity to look at the back of the tapestry as well as from its face.

Marko ütles ...

I see. I remember when I was about 13 and me and my sister were doing dishes after a nice meal my mum had cooked us and my nan happened to pop by. She entered the kitchen and was like "What's going on? Why is Marko washing up? Boys are supposed to do other stuff". My mum just told her to fuck off, and that was the end of it. That's how "traditional gender roles" are dealt with in an average Estonian family. To me that's rational, but I can also see how it's "irrational" for Americans. We never really had the "working dad and a housewife" family model. By the way, did you know that many of the women's rights movements in early 21 century US were started and run by Estonian Americans (mainly by the failed 1905 revolution refugees).

Sometimes I wonder how do these Muslim guys cope, when marrying an Estonian girl? I've read in newspapers that these relationships often end up in extremely violent confrontations, don't know if that's just a stereotype, but it can't be just a "walk in the park", that's for sure.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Elu on lill ...

http://www.ekspress.ee/news/arvamus/arvamus/andrei-hvostov-elu-on-lill.d?id=65918432

Marko ütles ...

I liked Lills speach. It's just Estonian politics can be so brutal that I'm afraid it's just gonna remain a nice little speach. In order to bring upon a change you need to learn to play ball like big boys do. To get anything through Ligis or Savisaars thick skulls you really need to be able to hammer it in. The real questions she should be asking are - where's our own Women's Liberation Front, Stonewall and Amnesty?

Nothing will change unless someone will confront those fat, bold, middle aged, straight, "country club" ego-maniacs. And you need to confront them in the language they understand - brutal disregard to their "interests", "ideas" and "visions". Stick to your goal, and you will succeed.

Marko ütles ...

Lill appeals to these peoples better nature. Nature, that just isn't there. What should we do then?

I just laughed out loud, when Aaviksoo commented on the Russian Schools subject. Apparently they had this discussion 14 years ago. And that's it! 14 bloody years ago I was 15 years old. What was discussed, by whom, what was decided and on whos behalf, is still to remain mystery!

I like Aaviksoo. But no way is it okay for him to speak like that.

I think they will just destroy Lill, and her political ambitions. And it makes me sick. I better stop now, before I explode! :)

Marko ütles ...

Just read Tammsaares "Poiss ja liblik", and you'll get the idea of what is happaning.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Khkhm ... what exactly do you like about Aaviksoo?

No, really?

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Khkhm ... what exactly do you like about Aaviksoo?

No, really?

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Too much wine, Marko? You too? :-)

Marko ütles ...

Well observed, LPR. ;) Not really sure, I vote Conservative in Britain and he's more in line with modern conservatism. He did a good job on defense, I support his reforms on education. Plus he's a gentleman, you don't get many of these in Estonian politics. And he smiles all the time which also a rarity with Estonian conservatives - most are simmering in their hatered and misery and it really shows. I hope young kids, wanting to join politics in future, would want to be more like Aaviksoo and less like Nool, for example.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

OK. I just cannot see past that ugly bottle opener he planted on the Vabaduse square.

The cross of shame for all Estonians to bear ... Very unilateral decision.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Simmering in hatred ... that is so right!!!! I get that feeling each time I visit that place. If you don't simmer and send out non simmering vibes, people find you and behave towards you like you are some kind of a loser. So when I am there, I put on my Estonian persona. Simmer and scold, dont-even-try-mfthfkr persona. Helps you. Especially in Russia.

LOL

Marko ütles ...

Works in Scotland, too. lol ;)

Martasmimi ütles ...

* but also liberal, yes, liberal as in having three children with three different men, none of whom have ever lived with you, none of whom have ever seen their offspring {and may not even be aware they exist, and you may not even know their last names} BUT ... Hush! Do not speak of such things!

Perhaps it's unfair to preach on this topic, but how does one raise daughters with any moral compass in a place who's moral standards as described in this post can best be described as "Ghetto" or more like the stereotype of our red neck uneducated US South.
I really need to consider all this the next time my granddaughter calls me crying,and begs to come "Home" and live here.

Giustino ütles ...

Perhaps it's unfair to preach on this topic, but how does one raise daughters with any moral compass in a place who's moral standards as described in this post can best be described as "Ghetto" or more like the stereotype of our red neck uneducated US South.


To be fair, Mom, my brother and I had two different fathers (and so did my cousins, by the way). It's just that in upper middle class homes it's called a "mixed family," and society expects the men to stick around and, most importantly, pay. You'll find that same model in Tartu or Tallinn or Pärnu, or wherever else wealth congregates. In poorer communities, less is expected of men. And how could you expect a generation of men raised by single mothers to "rise to the occasion" and carry the often thankless weight of fatherhood. These guys can't deal with that, because they haven't SEEN other men deal with that. So they leave, just like their fathers did ...

Martasmimi ütles ...

..... and carry the often thankless weight of fatherhood. These guys can't deal with that, because they haven't SEEN other men deal with that. So they leave.


Most of the time they leave because they are 17 or 18. Many of the women I have met there are grandmothers at an age that some women here still have young children and babies.

To be fair I was married after college and was 24 not 18 ... when I had your brother, still way too young to be getting married and your brothers dad his family have all remained close to me and our family.
Example; Aunt Patty is not only your godmother but my ex husbands sister. So not only did you grow up with your own father but your brothers family and his father, his stepmother and his two siblings who I believe all care a lot about you and your girls.
So I don't think there is much of a comparison here.

Your 2 cousin's who you mentioned in your response, know who their father is, where he is and have chosen not to see him or his family members. Their dad was too young when they were born 22 or so. He came from a very cold Swedish family with some unusual "family values", so they chose differently.
It has been very difficult for both of them to be missing a part of their identity.
In closing here, it's good to know that you think that men "pattern" after their families and their fathers.
I guess then I can hope.



Marko ütles ...

Family life in Estonia centres around a mother or a grandmother, can also be a great aunt etc. But it's always a woman, always has been. Apparently before the Saxon invasion, women were the ones who held most wealth and made most decisions relating to their communities. Wealth was also passed down from mother to daughter. Men had a different role and our rich gene pool demonstrates their primary function. To this day some elements of that ancient way of living remains.

You shouldn't judge unless you've got the boarder picture. Of course there are ghettos in Estonia and in some occasions neglect takes place but in now way does that describe an average Estonian "family model".

Martasmimi ütles ...


Marko :
*You shouldn't judge unless you've got the boarder picture. Of course there are ghettos in Estonia and in some occasions neglect takes place but in now way does that describe an average Estonian "family model".

Seriously, no judging? I guess what you're saying is that my opinion as a non- Estonian isn't valid because even though I have been there many times and have seen and heard many first hand examples of my said opinion, it's not valid because I just don't get that the "family model" there hasn't really evolved since ancient times.
My use of the word or term "ghetto" was to infer a connection between the acceptable morals in some of our poor urban cities and the ones in Estonia. In both of these places woman have several children starting at very young ages. Most don't know who their fathers are and the state and federal government then becomes the "fathers" of these children, as do all of us tax payers. Here it is looked down upon. In Estonia woman are incentivized, monetized and given a years salary in order to support the process of making more little Estonians, no matter what the circumstances of their birth might be.
So what I see as "ghetto" is a government supported lifestyle. A lifestyle that I would not like my granddaughters to be raised in or see as in any way "Normal".

Marko ütles ...

That's one bold statement. I like when people speak their mind. But I would absolutely disagree. You are generalizing and stereotyping. I have no problems with foreigners having their say, quite the opposite - I welcome it.

If young woman in Estonia comes to an age and decides to have a baby, she will just go ahead with it. If in the process she also gains a life partner, that would be considered a bonus. That's how simple it is. Women in Estonia have got higher education levels and they do sometimes use men as sperm donors. Exactly like more educated men use women as vessels to their offspring in America. System is the same, just roles have changed. Morality in that respect is debatable indeed. And your "normal" is absolutely different to my "normal". If my sister decides to have another baby from a different guy, she'll just get on with it. And I'll be there for her every step of the way. This is her birth right, no matter if that's unnatural to some or not.

Marko ütles ...

The Russians and other Eastern Europeans residing in Estonia have come in terms with this reality. Western migrants will also have to adopt. Disrespect to our women folk is generally greeted with zero tolerance. I suppose that's the biggest learning curve for you, Martasmimi, to keep an open mind and to be tolerant of others that might be different to you. Although you being an American, I'm not holding my breath. :)

Martasmimi ütles ...

*
Marko:

"Women in Estonia have got higher education levels and they do sometimes use men as sperm donors. Exactly like more educated men use women as vessels to their offspring in America. System is the same, just roles have changed. Morality in that respect is debatable indeed."

Women in Estonia have higher education levels ?
I am sure that there are some well educated women in Estonia. But to compare them to all of the women here in the USA would be very unfair to the women of Estonia
My little part of New York has more people living in it then the entire country of Estonia.
Within this tiny part of New York there are many well educated women, doctors, lawyers...scientists .
It is grossly unfair to continue to justify our educated women.
A bit sophomoric I might add.
I must say I found your use of the term "sperm donor" quite interesting but I won't go into the detail as to why. I started laughing reading about how men here use woman as vessels for procreation. That couldn't be more ridiculous.
If men in this country could have unprotected sex without the risk of unwanted pregnancy we would have zero unplanned children and no need for abortion. Single women here may choose to have children without being married mostly because they are getting near an age where they want a child but have yet to find a man who they want in their life.
Here unlike in Estonia the government doesn't monetize them for this choice.



Martasmimi ütles ...

Western migrants will also have to adopt. Disrespect to our women folk is generally greeted with zero tolerance. I suppose that's the biggest learning curve for you, Martasmimi, to keep an open mind and to be tolerant of others that might be different to you. Although you being an American, I'm not holding my breath. :)"

Marko... I find it rather quaint that you chose to lecture me on intolerance and respecting your Estonian women folk. As a woman who was born in a country with free speech I never have felt that I needed a man to defend me.
Yes I am an American woman but mostly I'm a New York woman so I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were you. : )


Giustino ütles ...

People have children at all different ages, under all different circumstances, everywhere.

I went to high school with two men (boys?) who became fathers when they were 17 -- one to twins!

You know, Estonia isn't that different from Sweden in its private attitudes toward reproduction, it's the public conservativeness that makes it different.

Sweden has very much embraced the late 20th century "lifestyle revolution," in which children become accessories to your lifestyle, like fashionable clothes, or gourmet dining. Some Estonians still have a "Father knows best" mentality, it's just that, all to often, there is no father around, and, quite frequently, nobody even knows who he is.

I am not judging single moms here -- I am describing a cultural situation, of liberalness in the bedroom, conservativeness in the street.

Honestly, one of the reasons I think some young women get pregnant so early is because society is quiet about sexuality and how babies are made. That's very different from Scandinavia.

I'm not sure which "system" is best -- in the US, we (especially those with more wealth) are so squeamish about these things, yet have this massive porn industry, so, on one hand, society says "Don't do it" and on the other hand society says, "Oh, hell yes, do it!"

Scandinavia has become more French than France -- Denmark, I can tell you, is a wild country -- is that the best way to handle these issues?

And then you have Estonia, which is a lot like Denmark (perhaps do to that lengthy Soviet period) but has this stodgy 1930s conservativeness in how it presents itself, "Oh, we're just old-fashioned folk who dress up and go to the theater ..."

Marko ütles ...

Well, to my generation free speach is as natrual as anything really. What I meant with zero tolerance was that offensive people could be sometimes "switched off". Like, you make a loudmouth comment in a restaurant, I'll call the waiter and ask him to help you to leave. You won't leave, I will. That sort of thing.

When I grew up it was madness in a sense that all these foreign people came around and everyone had a little "opinion" on how weird or strange or unRussian or unAmerican or whatever our lives were.

Most Estonians couldn't care less what others think, but sure thing is that they'll be taking notice.

FVM ütles ...

Lovely post.

kaire ütles ...

I'm lost for words by the comment on this post comparing Estonian social morals to those in US ghettos.

When considering the fact that the teen birth rate in the US is the highest in the developed world then it would be preferable to raise children in Estonia where they run a lower risk of unwanted teen pregnancies.

Maybe one should look at the plank in one's own eye first...

Marko ütles ...

Kaire, it's just the typical American view on the outside world. You'd be surprised what they think of the British. We've got lots of American tourists here in Edinburgh, and trust me, it's not a pretty sight.

Facts and figures are unnecessary here, as the opinions voiced originally aren't based on these. At the same time, people are entitled to their opinions, so it just is what it is. In a way. :)

K. ütles ...

Hmmm...interesting discussion.
There are obviously things I agree about Estonia, while being an estonian myself. The average age of women giving birth is actually nearing the 'Western average age of giving birth' but the amount of young women you see on the streets with kids is proportionally higher, because we simply have less women to speak of.

I do not think that the government is 'monetizing' anything, it is, quite clearly, normal in Europe to subsidize having kids. Martasmimi, I think you as an American have a very American view of things, which is that any kind of state help is of 'socialist-communist heritage' while most of Europe pays some sort of money after giving birth. If you'd have a look at Finland and Sweden, these countries are definitely not paying their women to just be wombs and produce as many offsprings as they can, they are making sure successful-educated women would want to give birth at a time they are at their most fertile age.

Another thing, I am sorry, but as a female Estonian who is currently in the process of applying for a Master course in one of the universities here, I felt angered. Not one female from my high school class has an education less than an undergrad. One of my classmates actually fell pregnant, had a baby boy before we graduated, went to university anyway and now works as a nurse-midwife in a hospital - she effectively earned her BA in nursing and midwifery while she had a child. My classmate, who is on an academic leave from her uni, has been a world champion in watersports when she was 16 and works hard to be both academically and athletically rewarded. My friend, who works as a teacher for preschool kids, has an extensive BA. You literally cannot even find work as a secretary anymore without speaking 4 languages and having a vocational (at least) education, better even if you have a BA in HR (the 4 languages and BA for secretary work is a bit overdoing imho). I do not think estonians in general are badly educated, women even less.

True, Estonian society is polarized, but what post-Soviet country isn't? We are very badly trying to leap after Nordic countries, hoping to just skip 40 years of development. I am sorry to say, Martasmimi, but I think you may be just a little bit bitter Estonia and not see things objectively.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Marko ütles ...
Kaire, it's just the typical American view on the outside world. You'd be surprised what they think of the British. We've got lots of American tourists here in Edinburgh, and trust me, it's not a pretty sight.

I'm not by any means a "typical American" my view is not from the "outside".
.... and I would agree that American tourists are rarely a pretty sight.

Martasmimi ütles ...

K. but the amount of young women you see on the streets with kids is proportionally higher, because we simply have less women to speak of.

Huh?

kaire ütles ...
I'm lost for words by the comment on this post comparing Estonian social morals to those in US ghettos.

Ghetto meaning having several children outside of a committed relationship that the government supports.

* I do not think that the government is 'monetizing' anything, it is, quite clearly, normal in Europe to subsidize having kids. Martasmimi, I think you as an American have a very American view of things.

*I was once told that Estonia needs to keep all of it's Estonians in Estonia. Therefore they pay or monetize women to have children. This by a very well educated Estonian woman.
I didn't make this up !

Karie:
When considering the fact that the
teen birth rate in the US is the highest in the developed world then it would be preferable to raise children in Estonia where they run a lower risk of unwanted teen pregnancies.

* To equate the teen pregnancy or birthrate of the US with that of Estonia is simply impossible.
Estonia is a tiny country that is eager to have more Estonians... but only Estonians. They don't allow immigration so they have no people of color, no diversity nor un educated minorities that have 5 or more children. Ours is a huge country and portions of it are terribly uneducated and under employed.. So they skew our stats.
I will not engage in some contest enumerating the stats of my female colleges and their daughters. Most with several MD's Phd's JD's and speak fluent Mandarin, Korean French, and Spanish, this is my friends daughter, not several different women. She is 35 and speaks all of these languages.

This was never about how well educated women are in Estonia.. it was about paying young women to have children and the women who have 3 children with 3 different men and their children who don't even know these fathers.
This would be considered ghetto here.


Martasmimi ütles ...

K. I am sorry to say, Martasmimi, but I think you may be just a little bit bitter Estonia and not see things objectively.

Yes I agree but "bitter" is perhaps a bit of an understatement... yet I still feel my opinion on this topic has little to do with how I came to know Estonia.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Living in a contemporary society as a male, it becomes increasingly confusing, what exactly is expeccted of us?

Is there ANYTHING that we can do that women can't? No?

So why even bother then?

Plus, women adore gay men more than straight men, so why not just give up and become gay. Score more points in every possible category.

Plus the fashion industry opens up like totally another layer of possibilities. Not to mention the toys and lubrications and robes and makeup ...

Seriously, what makes a man these days? A good man?

Anybody can drive a stick shift. What makes me a man? Or you or any other man? What is manliness?

To be able to tolerate female nagging and not fly off the handle? Someone, please give me clue. I am 47 already. How much time is there left for me to learn.

Plus, I have fathered my share of children with the undisclosed number of different women.
:-)

Marko ütles ...

LPR, you don't just "turn" gay. You either are or not. In today's world we're just more visible, than lets say 50 or 500 years ago (well the 500 hundred might be a bit of a overstatement, as first recorded gay marriage in Livland took place nearly 400 years ago).

Just thought I clear this one out. :)

As for masculine role, well, the world is changing, you either change with it or you don't. Life is what you make of it.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

So what DO you make of it? The western world is feminizing. I don't know what to tell my son how to be a man. How he is different than girls and why it is important.

The fact is it is not important. We are all now "equal". In every sense of the word.

Meaning, you being a man is irrelevant. You have to supress all your instincts that set you apart as a man and desinfect the remnants of it. With drugs, alcohol, computer games, therapy groups, etc, etc.

Become gay and be done with the confusion. Plus you get a standing ovation for "coming out" ...

Scoff

K. ütles ...

Martasmimi,

I agree (partly) with you in regards that Estonian laws about immigration are strict and in some cases, they should, perhaps, lessen their power juuuuust a bit.
However, I must say, I dare to believe you and I just have very different viewpoints about the places where we live. Europe in general is based on nationalities, where there is a majority and minorities; USA is a multicultured country, where the ratio between majority and minority is in constant flux.

Now, there are several reasons as to WHY Estonia is so strict in it's laws about immigration and why people here are so 'traditional' (if to put it so). Firstly, while there were men who were sailors during the Soviet time and did happen to father some children who were of different skin colour (children being of darker skin then), a person of other skin colour than white was a rarity here. Estonia got off pretty well: you should travel to some other ex-Soviet states in the Asia and nearby: there are plenty of people there who are far more traditional and outright racist than people here.

Secondly: while Soviet Union was a melting pot on it's own and one could travel well within the union, the majority of people they saw were of caucasian race. Another thing is that people of other colours where sometimes ridiculed and spoken badly about, often in public. Other ethnicities were sometimes considered bad, being in communication with them was considered vulgar, horrible.
Things are changing: I personally do not care if someone's partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife is of other ethnicity, religion, same gender etc. Why should I?
My only care however is that if that person wants to live here, said person should respect the way people live here. That means speak the language, adopt cultural norms necessary here, not elsewhere. I will not travel to USA and impose rules on people living in NY just because I am a minority there, why should we accept people who impose their rules on us?

K. ütles ...

Martasmimi,

I agree (partly) with you in regards that Estonian laws about immigration are strict and in some cases, they should, perhaps, lessen their power juuuuust a bit.
However, I must say, I dare to believe you and I just have very different viewpoints about the places where we live. Europe in general is based on nationalities, where there is a majority and minorities; USA is a multicultured country, where the ratio between majority and minority is in constant flux.

Now, there are several reasons as to WHY Estonia is so strict in it's laws about immigration and why people here are so 'traditional' (if to put it so). Firstly, while there were men who were sailors during the Soviet time and did happen to father some children who were of different skin colour (children being of darker skin then), a person of other skin colour than white was a rarity here. Estonia got off pretty well: you should travel to some other ex-Soviet states in the Asia and nearby: there are plenty of people there who are far more traditional and outright racist than people here.

Secondly: while Soviet Union was a melting pot on it's own and one could travel well within the union, the majority of people they saw were of caucasian race. Another thing is that people of other colours where sometimes ridiculed and spoken badly about, often in public. Other ethnicities were sometimes considered bad, being in communication with them was considered vulgar, horrible.
Things are changing: I personally do not care if someone's partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife is of other ethnicity, religion, same gender etc. Why should I?
My only care however is that if that person wants to live here, said person should respect the way people live here. That means speak the language, adopt cultural norms necessary here, not elsewhere. I will not travel to USA and impose rules on people living in NY just because I am a minority there, why should we accept people who impose their rules on us?

The attitudes are negative both because of past misunderstandings (and these change slowly) and because of the current problems in Europe in regards to immigration: there are literally separated communities in Britain, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Norway where people living there speak no other language but theirs, do not respect the overall living rules or conditions and more often, simply use the welfare the states are offering, without offering any work back. Estonians do not want that, we want immigrants who actually wish to live and work here, thus we make these people try really hard to get here.
And I am not just writing theory here, my partner has gone through all of what I wrote.

K. ütles ...

However, the question about women having children with different men. Well...cannot disagree with that. I personally do not 'like' this notion, but it is none of my business what other people do. I think it is stupid to make children to get money from the state, because once the initial support is over all you get is very little, under 20 euro per child, so..utter stupidity.
The matter is also about values: unfortunately, it is mostly women here who take care of the children, the men leave and more than often, do not pay any alimony for the child. This is not good and the state is weak in that regard (as I said, socially we have long way to evolve), as the court may decide that a man has to pay but if said man claims he has no means of paying, then legally they cannot do anything; they arrest his bank accounts, but usually the men get paid in cash after that.

Some women never have children after that, some of them have another and should the new guy leave, another one after that as well. There will always be women who do that, but general society is moving towards a change, more women are having children later in life and in less numbers: very similar to those women in USA.

I am probably a bit touchy about Estonia here, as it is natural, it is of my home that you speak of. However, I do hope that you, Martasmimi, understand that we were at a social vaccuum whilst in SU and only now have started to move up in the 'social latter'. It is far more easier to develop economically than to develop socially. Would you travel to Romania or Nigeria and preach about American values there, at the same time knowing that these countries and societies could not possibly be as advanced as you in USA are?

Marko ütles ...

Are you for real? Europeans have always been like this. Ever seen Estonian native mens dance parties? Or Morris dancers in England? It's all about flowers and jingles and hugging and what not. Only thing that has changed in Estonia is the Russian cultural influence, where men are expected to behavein a butch, loud and unfriendly manner. So how to explain this to your son? What about, be yourself, be comfortable in your own skin and don't do to others what you wouldn't like others to do to you. How does that sound?

What's wrong in teaching your son decency, good manners, respect to others? Do be honest I don't follow you on this one.

Marko ütles ...

We talk about these thing a lot in Britain. We have this muslim preacher here, Abu Gatabi or whats his face. He goes on about it all the time. How degenerated we are, because we don't allow 14 year old rape victims to be stoned to death. Things have gone so far, that Theresa May recently announced that Britain has prepared to opt out from European Court of Human Rights, there's just no other way to get this man out of the country.

That was of course extreme example, but that's the reality wr face in Britain. You constantly post links here about events in Estonia, where some near-feral "men" demonstrate their "manly" behaviour in the vilest way imaginable. Surely even you can see that there is a link there. And there is always a possibility to move to a region where they hang gay lovers and stone 14 year old rape victims to death, happily ever after. Ever tried to explain the latter to your son?

Martasmimi ütles ...

K. I'm certainly not preaching "American" values. These are my concerns. America has so many different opinions that it is not possible to put all of these ideas into one hat.

It's just different When I am with my granddaughter and she see's a group of young boys hanging outside a store here and asks me if they are hanging out drinking I am stunned that at age 8 she associates this type of gathering in this way.
So when I say "look_______ it's a Gelato store they are just waiting on line for Ice Cream.
You can only imagine how disturbing I found that conversation.
This and worse exist here in parts of New York, thankfully not where I live. And I am not so naïve to think that it's so perfect here in my very affluent part of New York... Lots of expensive drugs here in our community as well.... and kids with the money to buy them.
But girls here are much more active, they play many more sports... practice 5 days a week. We have at least 4 months of additional good weather. So there is less time to be sitting inside surfing the internet unsupervised.

Estonia has some very pretty areas and some very pretty women. I believe Estonia has the largest amount of blonde haired blue eyed women in the world. I assume it is the same for men.

When I go to the airport in Tallinm after I am there for a few weeks I am always amazed that when I see a person of color.

Here I wouldn't even notice him/her, but there the African person stands out.

I think immigration reform and diversity are long way away for Estonia. Estonia looks to Sweden and Norway and say .... never not here.

Marko ütles ...

Martasmimi, I often have this conversation with my partner. He is like, how come you do not have many blck people in Estonia? And I always have to repeat myself, that where as in Britain most of immigration traditionally comes from the former British Empire, and the British never held any major territories in Europe thus an immigrant = exotic person. In Estonia, immigrants traditionally come from the former Russian Empire, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, that is. In fact every third person you see on a street is foreign, thats what gives us this "Eastern European flavour". Migrants from other parts of the world are arriving also, nowadays, in grater numbers. So its just a matter of time when the "streetview" will change. And wouldn't it be racist in the first place to claim that we would like to "blacken out" our streets to look more Sweden. Wouldn't that just be outright stupid?

K. ütles ...

Martasmimi,

If a child asks something like that it is natural to explain the situation, as you said you did. My friends have little sisters, whom I have babysat, so I have some experience with how children perceive things (though, of course, babysitting children and having your own grandchildren is, of course, very different) and I have always tried to explain them things how they really are. That there are some bad people who drink lots of alcohol, some do it because they choose to and some do it because they are addicted.

Besides, children are...funny in that regard, they can sometimes make up wrong conclusions. My relative, a young woman, when she was still a child, she once told the kindergarten teacher that her mother drinks all the time and when she does, she uses candles to illuminate the room. The teacher, of course, got worried and informed the manager, who turned to the mother of my relative to have a chat. And it turned out that yes, she did occasionally drink wine with her friend (who also had 2 kids), but never enough to actually get drunk and never more than once in a month.

I understand how easy it is to wrongly understand things, even after years of experience. We as humans are bound to trust stereotypes and once we have gotten a proof that that's how things are, we just go with it. Lord knows I have done the same thing with several other countries.

About the diversity, yes, some of it would be good, definitely, but again, only at the price that immigrants actually wish to integrate. Like Marko said, we need no hate-preachers here. And additionally, I agree, weather CAN really suck in Estonia, but that's also the beauty of it.

K. ütles ...

Martasmimi,

If a child asks something like that it is natural to explain the situation, as you said you did. My friends have little sisters, whom I have babysat, so I have some experience with how children perceive things (though, of course, babysitting children and having your own grandchildren is, of course, very different) and I have always tried to explain them things how they really are. That there are some bad people who drink lots of alcohol, some do it because they choose to and some do it because they are addicted.

Besides, children are...funny in that regard, they can sometimes make up wrong conclusions. My relative, a young woman, when she was still a child, she once told the kindergarten teacher that her mother drinks all the time and when she does, she uses candles to illuminate the room. The teacher, of course, got worried and informed the manager, who turned to the mother of my relative to have a chat. And it turned out that yes, she did occasionally drink wine with her friend (who also had 2 kids), but never enough to actually get drunk and never more than once in a month.

I understand how easy it is to wrongly understand things, even after years of experience. We as humans are bound to trust stereotypes and once we have gotten a proof that that's how things are, we just go with it. Lord knows I have done the same thing with several other countries.

About the diversity, yes, some of it would be good, definitely, but again, only at the price that immigrants actually wish to integrate. Like Marko said, we need no hate-preachers here. And additionally, I agree, weather CAN really suck in Estonia, but that's also the beauty of it.

Marko ütles ...

Oh, and LPR, just think back to the medieval times. When men used wear silk stockings, wigs and heavy make-up. That look wasn't just considered "sexy" but in every meaning of the word, professional. Compared to men of these times, even Adam Lambert looks like a peasant wannabe. :) So, no, we're not "doomed" just yet. ;)

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Marko, that was funny ...LOL

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

You are following me very well indeed though. Just won't let it on, as it kinda cuts into your "territory" and such ...

Marko ütles ...

That's it, mate. You can't have your cake and eat it. And if some people, like the redneck community (do they even consider themselves a community? I mean there are shared values, checkered shirts etc.) in America, do not agree with it then that's their problem, really. The only advice my dad gave me, ont he subject, was something like "Marko, the world is full of idiots. Please don't become one". And look what I turned up like! LOL, never mind.

Martasmimi ütles ...

K...

Children do exactly what you said they say things like "my mother drinks all day" . Perhaps when asked at school to draw a picture of their family they draw their mother at the kitchen table with a glass and a bottle of wine. LOL .... but not so funny when social services shows up at your door. Thanks kid !
My granddaughter and I are very bonded she lived with me for some time and stays with me for long periods of time so I know her very well. I think I can tell when it is a serious question and when she is just being silly. She thought these kids were standing outside drinking and they were just waiting to buy ice cream.
Nothings perfect, no country no culture no race...
I think we have reached the end of this topic.

Martasmimi ütles ...

K
*hings are changing: I personally do not care if someone's partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife is of other ethnicity, religion, same gender etc. Why should I?
My only care however is that if that person wants to live here, said person should respect the way people live here. That means speak the language, adopt cultural norms necessary here, not elsewhere. I will not travel to USA and impose rules on people living in NY just because I am a minority there, why should we accept people who impose their rules on us?

* One of the problems here in the US is that people come from other countries and then take over areas here, like parts of Brooklyn NY. Then they all live together, speak their native languages. Much like you have there in Narva. We have our own Narva in Brighten Beach, Brooklyn. I often wonder why people even come here if they are not going to as you say learn the language, and the culture of the country they wanted to immigrate to. I had this discussion with an American guy married to an Estonian woman. They live here . He said that it is up to the American person here to be strong and insistent so as to help their spouse become more "American" if not they will just seek out others from their old country to befriend and associate with. Since everyone (with one exception) I know who married someone from another country lives here I am inclined to agree with that. I have seen here how a strong American spouse can be the only one who has the ability to help their "foreign" spouse to mainstream into their new homeland.






Marko ütles ...
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