teisipäev, mai 14, 2013


Yesterday watched three local citizens parade down the street -- a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter -- all of them smoking. Then the word came to me, "matsid." I am not sure who the poor, ill-mannered country bumpkin was that gave the Estonians this term, but his name was Mats ... To be called Mats (or even worse, Mats Hobusega ("Mats with Horse")) is to have one's poor, dirty, country roots put on display for all to see ... Drinking, smoking, TV game shows, the habits of the lower classes (yes, string me up now, oh would-be French Revolutionaries, elitist second estate snob that I am) ... I've seen locals drinking and smoking in the morning on the streets in town ... cigarettes, beer, breakfast cereals ... these are the things that go together in their mindset [but hush, do not criticize the matsid's habits, nor even suggest {aloud} that they are matsid, or that matsid even exist!] ... And yet, when they walk by on parade, even the Estonian who is but one rung above this bottom-rung untouchable class is known to look over his/her monied, educated shoulder and sneer and spit ... 

"Once a mats, {ptui!} always a mats ..."

5 kommentaari:

KK ütles ...

Mats versus mõisnik, its old name actually from times where country was controlled by Baltic-germans.

Marko ütles ...

Mats is offensive to Estonians, although being an ordinary name and having no other meaning, just like Fritz can be to Germans. Mats actually recognises well mannered individuals, Mats respects self-disciplined and well meaning fellow citizens. The only time one should be aware of a Mats, is when one is looking down on Mats while not realizing that they themselves could be considered one under different circumstances. A Mats is very good at sniffing out another Mats.

You get these kind of people world over. Estonia is not actually too bad, considering. You should try Poland and Finland for a change, in my experience these can truly described as Matsi-countries. :)

LPR ütles ...

I go to embassy parties now and then here in Washington. I must say, there is matslus evident even there. Just better dressed. But it's there.

I can smell an kodueestlane a mile away. Like a criminal knows another criminal.

Saying this as a proud mats myself. (NOT!)

Marko ütles ...

Oh dear. The embassies. Cost me 600 hundred pounds and two lost holidays just to get my passport sorted in London, just because they "prefer" to have it done in contry of residence (alternatively could have had it done in Dublin for 70 quid in couple of hours). They even made us queue outside the gate, as to assert their dominance - you're nothing to us, just numbers on the computer screen! I doubt very much I would even contemplate on the idea of spending my free time there, however fancy the occasion. Thanks, but no thanks.

But well done you! The all powerful Foreign Office sure must open some doors, half shut otherwise.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Marta has mentioned these types of things to me about where she lives.
Things like this are not flaunted in my little part of the world.
Lets not jump all over this defending poor little Estonia from the big bad grandmother. I didn't say that no one drinks or smokes, only that
it is not likely one would see this on display and done so in your face here.
Sorry it's just gross !