• 2008-12-17
Re: Name changing in Issue 635

When it comes to the integration of Russians and ethnic Estonians, the Estonian government is a failure. This is clear. Their latest plan to get Russians to change their names is not only an old and outdated method from the post-World War II period, but it is only going to aggravate people.

Despite the name change making obvious problems in someone's life like them having to change all their documents and deal with every problem that that entails, it makes their heritage, their name and their existence wrong and invalid. By forcing changing someone to change their name to an Estonian name, the government is implying that their name is wrong and that an Estonian name is better. As any normal person with a brain knows 's this will make Russian people angry 's and with good reason. Their heritage is as valid as anyone else's 's even if their country isn't the most pleasant to deal with for the governments of the day.

The Estonian (and Latvian) governments need to deal with the problem in an intelligent way. Giving Russians language support at the government is a start 's there isn't even a Russian language telephone help service for some things 's how the hell are they expecting them to feel welcome in their country? Where is the buy in for ethnic Russians?

The Russians are shut outside in the cold while the Estonians have a party inside the house and then yell at them through the window that they should be more like them before they could be invited.

Peter Smythe


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