100 ways to know that you are from Estonia. Part One

As an Estonian I have a great honour to publish this article with Estonianworld permission. My big thanks for team Estonianworld

100 eesti asja-1

Every nation has its characteristics. Some time ago, a few Tallinn-based expats compiled a tongue-in-cheek list that distinguishes Estonians. Estonian World republishes the list in a slightly modified form.

You know you are from Estonian when…

1. You use the word “normal” if something is OK.
2. When visiting friends abroad you bring along a box of Kalev chocolate.
3. You attended a song festival at least once either as a performer or as a spectator.
4. You know that going to the sauna is 80% about networking and 20% about washing.
5. You are nationalistic about Skype (it was actually set up in Estonia).
6. Kohuke (Estonian curd snack) belongs to your menu.

100 eesti asja-2 kohuke

7. You declare your taxes on the internet like all modern people.
8. You actually believed for a while that Latvians had six toes per foot when you heard that as a child.
9. You are convinced that Estonia is very strategically located.
10. You spent at least one midsummer in Saaremaa or Hiiumaa, or in one of the smaller islands.
11. You can quote films like “Viimne reliikvia” and “Siin me oleme”.

100 eesti asja - Viimne-Reliikvia

12. You spit three times around your left shoulder for good luck.
13. Words like “veoauto”, “täieõiguslik” or “jää-äär” sound perfectly pronounceable to you.
14. You have been at least once in your life at Pärnu beach.
15. There can never be too much sarcasm.
16. Buildings taller than 20 floors are sightseeing items where you bring visitors.

100 eesti asja - Tallinn-at-sunset-e1401273135621

17. You are disappointed that Jaan Kross never got the Nobel prize in literature.
18. It would not be surprising for English-speakers to find your name naughty (Peep, Tiit, Andres [sounds like undress]) or hippy (Rein, Rain).
19. You have been to Finland.
20. You say ‘Noh’ (sounds like NO) even when you speak English, just to confuse people.
21. You know the lyrics to “Mutionu” and “Rongisõit”.

22. You are used to customer servants looking at you as if they wanted to give you a good slap.
23. You would agree that wife-carrying is a real sport (at least as long as Estonians are winning).
24. Your best friend’s girlfriend is your English teacher’s daughter and they live next door to your grandparents, who were colleagues with your advisor, who is friends with your…
25. You think any beverage below 20% is non-alcoholic.
26. You think working 35 hours per week is like being on a holiday.
27. You look in both directions before crossing the road, even if it’s a one-way street.
28. You grin very mysteriously when people ask about your national food.
29. Even if you find the music by Veljo Tormis and Arvo Pärt not exactly easy-listening, you think they are great messengers for the country.

30. Your five-year-old child knows how to code.
31. You cheated on your wife/husband at least ten times but you still think you’re in a good marriage.
32. When someone ask you “where is Estonia?” you quickly reply that it’s located in Northern Europe close to Finland…
33. You think that people who smile too much and are too friendly, must be high on something.
34. Sour cream tastes good with everything.
35. A foreigner speaks to you in broken horrible Estonian and you go on and on about how wonderful their Estonian is compared to “the Russians”.
36. You have ever worn or seen anyone wear “karupüksid”.

eesti asjad - Liina-Viira-karupyksid-by-Haide-Rannakivi

37. You have heard the phrase “Estonians are slow” at least once.
38. Sa saad aru, mis siia kirjutatud on.
39. You find yourself continually ignoring the gender in other languages.
40. You say “kurat” as at least every second word.
41. You consider running to the shop at 21:50 on Friday evening to buy some booze a sport.
42. You don’t go on strike or protest when the government screws you.
43. When someone says “Estonians are so beautiful” you answer almost without emotions “I know”.
44. You have tried to explain people that “kauboi” is actually a word in Estonian.
45. You don’t think that “terviSEKS” is a funny word.
46. You don’t find the Estonian equivalent to the expressions “twelve months”, “1002″ and “12 buses” remotely funny or rude.
47. Even though you never met Toots, Teele and Kiir you know exact what they are like (literary characters from Oskar Luts’s books).

100 eesti asja - Suvi

48. You grin when someone you know says that they bought a BMW.
49. You know how to end the sentence “Kui Arno isaga koolimajja jõudis…” (from Oskar Luts’s book “Kevade”).
50. Verivorst (blood sausage) tastes great (at least once a year at Christmas time).

The article will continue next week.


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