Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

  1. #1
    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    The Weimar Republic
    Posts
    9,512

    Default 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Hello everyone. I'm looking to start a discussion about the national identity of Estonia. More specifically, I wish to discuss the recent (post-Soviet) moves towards the Nordic countries, both economically and identity-wise. I'm especially interested in hearing the opinions of Estonians as well as the commonly accepted Nordics.

    What am I talking about? This:

    Estonia

    Estonians consider themselves a Nordic people rather than Balts,[3][4] based on strong linguistic, cultural and historical ties with Finland in particular, and also with Sweden and Denmark. The Estonian language is closely related to the Finnish language, and Estonians, as an ethnic group, are a Finnic people. Estonia was part of the Danish and Swedish empires for many centuries prior to its absorption into the Russian Empire. It is generally thought that the name of the Estonian capital, Tallinn, derives from the Estonian taani linn, meaning 'Danish town'.

    Historically, large parts of Estonia’s north-western coast and islands have been populated by an indigenous ethnically Swedish population (Estonian Swedes). The majority of Estonia's Swedish population fled to Sweden in 1944, escaping the advancing Soviet Army. In 2007, Estonian Swedes were granted official cultural autonomy under Estonian law.[5]

    Since regaining independence in 1991, Estonia has expressed interest in identifying with the Nordic community. In 1999, Estonian Foreign Minister — and current president since 2006 — Toomas Hendrik Ilves delivered a speech entitled "Estonia as a Nordic Country" to the Swedish Institute for International Affairs.[6] In 2003, the foreign ministry also hosted an exhibit called "Estonia: Nordic with a Twist."[7] In 2005, Estonia also joined the European Union's Nordic Battle Group and shows interest in joining the Nordic Council.

    Today there is a great deal of economic interdependence between Estonia and some of its Nordic neighbors. Three quarters of investments into Estonia come from Nordic states (principally Finland and Sweden), to which Estonia sends 58% of its exports. On the other hand, the Estonian political system and non-welfare-state model distinguish it from the Nordic states, and from many other European countries.
    wiki.

    Also this blog posting from Itching For Eestimaa:

    Nordic Council Contemplates "Re-branding" Estonia
    When I first changed the tag line of Itching for Eestimaa to: "a blog about the world's only post-communist nordic country" many anonymous posters came out of the woodwork to verbally cap me in the knees for suggesting that Estonia, neighbor of Latvia and Russia, would have any business selling itself as Nordic rather than Baltic.

    Yet, it appears that the Nordic Council is open to such ideas. Tomorrow the council will meet at Tallinn University to discuss how the Baltic Sea region can best be marketed to outside investors during a talk called "Regional Branding - An Asset in Times of Globalisation."

    " Estonia’s Minister for Regional Policy, Jaan Ġunapuu, and Per Unckel, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, are keynote speakers. Other speakers will be Director Ole Frijs-Madsen, Baltic Development Forum and Director Liisa Hakamies-Blomqvist, from NordForsk.

    Bengt Streijffert will talk about the Ĝresund Science Region between Denmark and southern Sweden, while Katri Liis Lepik will talk about Helsinki-Tallinn Euregio, as examples of the development of smaller regions. The day will conclude with two speakers from Estonia. Jaak Aaviksoo, Rector of Tartu Universitet, will look whether Estonia has an Estonian, Nordic or Baltic identity. The last Estonian parliamentarian, Mark Soosaar, will discuss whether Estonia belongs to today’s global world - with a look to the future."


    In my experience as a member of the media that is routinely dealing with regional commercial initiatives, I think it is best to brand your markets from both a large regional-level and then a smaller, local level. So in the case of Estonia, acknowledgement of its membership in the Nordic market would be key for attracting investments - and I think it has been so some regards. But at the same time, promoting specific regions, like Helsinki-Tallinn is also key. For example, I have noticed that Scotland has been able to attract investment and interest by focusing in on its local competencies (which in the case of some industries means Edinburgh and its academic resources) rather than trying to compete solely as a UK market.

    However, I think this "local branding" approach tends to favor more unexplored markets. Therefore, in Estonia I would like to see less focus just on Tallinn and more on growing other areas. Increasing investment in Tartu would benefit not just Tartumaa, but also neighboring counties. I also wonder if regional branding has to, in fact, be regional. For example the University of Tartu has many strong ties to the University of Turku and the University of Tampere. Could a "Tampere-Tartu" meme - for example, in pharmeceutical discovery - also work within the context of Nordic regional development?

    These are all good questions for the Nordic Council, which apparently is begining to examine ways to sell the post-1991 Nordic market to the world. That will not only benefit Estonia - because the "Nordic" brand means both safe and competitive, but it will benefit the traditional Nordics, which are not growing as fast as Estonia and are reevaluating some of their taxation policies to create new opportunity.
    Personally, I believe that the only reasons Estonia is not commonly considered a Nordic country these days are a) History (Soviet occupation) and b) Geographic location. The reasons are related as Estonia's history has been dictated by its location next to Russia. So when the Nordic countries began to interact and co-operate meaningfully as independent nations, Estonia was no longer independent. Had Finland been occupied in 1939 or alternatively in 1944, Finland would probably not be considered Nordic by 'the international community' (i.e. those who have only the most rudimentary of knowledge on the subject).

    Anyway, I'm ready to welcome Estonia into our merry little club.
    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  2. #2
    Tiberius Nero's Avatar Biarchus
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Greece/UK
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    I thought the term "Nordic" refered to the Germanic speaking populations of Scandinavia; are the Finnish considered Nordic? Candid question btw, this should be interesting to follow.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    I'm not sure 99% of the people outside the area would understand the nuanced difference between Baltic and Nordic. But of course the Estonians are free to position themselves any way they feel like.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB MareNostrum

  4. #4
    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    The Weimar Republic
    Posts
    9,512

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiberius Nero View Post
    I thought the term "Nordic" refered to the Germanic speaking populations of Scandinavia; are the Finnish considered Nordic? Candid question btw, this should be interesting to follow.
    Wikipedia is your friend.

    I'm not sure 99% of the people outside the area would understand the nuanced difference between Baltic and Nordic. But of course the Estonians are free to position themselves any way they feel like.
    Well I'm not sure how nuanced the difference is because there are a lot of questions, especially around the term Baltic. They comprise three ethnicities and two different language families and two different religions. Latvians and Estonians are Lutheran while the Lithuanians are Catholic. Estonians are Finnic while Latvians and Lithuanians are Baltic. So I'm not sure how good the term "Baltic" is in describing cultural affinity.

    But I suppose the true purpose is to tap into the Nordic brand: safe, reliable and competetive. Nonetheless, I see this 're-alignment' to be quite justified in light of Estonia's close relations and cultural affinity with the Nordic countries.
    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  5. #5

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    I would have no problem with it as long as they adopt a Nordic Cross flag. Estonia should also consider changing their international name to "Estland", the term "Estonia" has too much of an "eastern" sound.
    Last edited by Norge; May 11, 2008 at 01:21 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Well, I consider my country Nordic, and so do most Estonians. We'd probably be considered Nordic, if we hadn't ended up on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. Finland was considered the fourth Baltic state before WWII.

    I would have no problem with it as long as they adopt a Nordic Cross flag. Estonia should also consider changing their international name to "Estland", the term "Estonia" has too much of an "eastern" sound.
    This idea was popular especially in the early 90's. I don't really know if I want to change the flag though, our current one has lead us through so much. I suppose both could be used in some way though?

  7. #7

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Estonians are from the same stock as Finns.





  8. #8
    Senno's Avatar C'est la Vie.
    Civitate Moderator Emeritus

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Central California.
    Posts
    3,910

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Well, you are NATOic and EUic and are free as a bird to pursue the policies you wish.

    Russia apparently is reduced to hacking to try to exert influence.

  9. #9

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    They can call themselves whatever they like, and its absolutely no-one's business. They can call themselves Indian for all its worth, and no one can stop them.

    The real question is, would the Nordic community be willing to accept them. If so, then there shouldn't be a problem.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norge View Post
    I would have no problem with it as long as they adopt a Nordic Cross flag. Estonia should also consider changing their international name to "Estland", the term "Estonia" has too much of an "eastern" sound.
    Eastern sound? The term "Estonia" is derived from Latin language.

    As for historical ties with Nordic countries - we have to remember that even under Danish or Swedish rule in Estonia - the dominant culture and language in economy and administration was German. Scandinavian/Nordic cultural influence was remote at best.
    I see Estonia sharing more cultural similarities with Latvia (except for linguistic ties) than with any of Nordic neighbors.

  11. #11
    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    The Weimar Republic
    Posts
    9,512

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Estlander View Post
    Well, I consider my country Nordic, and so do most Estonians. We'd probably be considered Nordic, if we hadn't ended up on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. Finland was considered the fourth Baltic state before WWII.



    This idea was popular especially in the early 90's. I don't really know if I want to change the flag though, our current one has lead us through so much. I suppose both could be used in some way though?
    I find the flag proposed in 1919 more aesthetically pleasing:

    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  12. #12

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Quote Originally Posted by wilpuri View Post
    I find the flag proposed in 1919 more aesthetically pleasing:

    I prefer the other one. This one looks unbalanced...

    And the cross resembles the traditional German cross too closely I think.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Quote Originally Posted by ivan_the_terrible View Post
    I prefer the other one. This one looks unbalanced...

    And the cross resembles the traditional German cross too closely I think.
    I agree. The newer variant looks a lot better.

  14. #14

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Does it really matter? Ethnic or racial classification isn't going to improve Estonia's relations by miles with Nordic countries all by itself.

  15. #15
    Atterdag's Avatar Tro og Hċb
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the Valley of the Wind
    Posts
    6,691

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    I thought that Estonia already was a part of the Nordic Council?
    Anyways, we got the Finns so I see no harm in letting the Estonians join the happy club of Nordic countries.
    Granted Lettre de Marque by King Henry V - Spurs given by imb39
    Сканија је Данска

    عیسی پسر مریم گفت :' جهان است پل ، عبور بیش از آن است ، اما هیچ ساخت خانه بر آن او امیدوار است که برای یک روز ، ممکن است برای ابدیت امیدواریم ، اما ماندگار جهان اما ساعت آن را صرف در دعا و نماز برای استراحت است نهان


    All of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier.
    Otto von Bismarck


  16. #16

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    You can give yourself whatever name you want. Estland. Estonia. Former Soviet Republic of Estonia. But make sure not to name it Makedonia

    :sparta:

  17. #17
    wilpuri's Avatar It Gets Worse.
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    The Weimar Republic
    Posts
    9,512

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Quote Originally Posted by Atterdag View Post
    I thought that Estonia already was a part of the Nordic Council?
    Anyways, we got the Finns so I see no harm in letting the Estonians join the happy club of Nordic countries.
    You thought they were a part of the Nordic Council? Perhaps that old thing should do something once in a while, so people don't completely forget its existence.
    The common culture of a tribe is a sign of its inner cohesion. But tribes are vanishing from the modern world, as are all forms of traditional society. Customs, practices, festivals, rituals and beliefs have acquired a flut and half-hearted quality which reflects our nomadic and rootless existence, predicated as we are on the global air-waves.

    ROGER SCRUTON, Modern Culture

  18. #18
    mocker's Avatar Vicarius
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oslo
    Posts
    2,050

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Screw the cross, this is the 21st century.
    Last edited by mocker; May 15, 2008 at 05:32 AM.


  19. #19

    Default Re: 'Re-Branding' Estonia: Baltic or Nordic?

    Well i think Estoina can view themselfs as whatever they want.


    But personally when i hear Nordic i think Norway Denmark Sweden Finland and Iceland.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •