100 years: Happy Birthday, Estonia!
First Finland then Lithuania and now Estonia have celebrated the 100th anniversary of their founding this winter. Estonia proclaimed its independence from the Russian tsars on 24 February 1918 after around 200 years under their rule. Estonians marked the occasion with a military parade and other events this weekend. Among the press voices we hear criticism of commerce and a Latvian hymn of praise.
Marketing with blue-black-white patriotism
Jürgen Klemm has had enough of the commercial hype surrounding the centennial. He writes in Äripäev:
“Of course I understand that businesspeople want to associate their products or services with Estonia's 100th birthday. As we know, people aren't stingy at weddings and funerals - and perhaps that also goes for state anniversaries. ... Everything under the sun has been marketed with the Estonian tricolour. But don't they say that marketing is also about standing out from the crowd? It seems that the products that stand out the most are the ones that aren't decorated with the Estonia 100 logo. Many people have promised to give the state a present on its magic 100th birthday. I'm giving 100 euros to my piggy bank - I haven't bought a single centennial product.”
Estonia: neighbour, model
Latvijas avīze sings the praise of Latvia's northern neighbour Estonia on its 100th anniversary:
“In all important international comparisons Estonia outshines Latvia. Above all, however: Estonia set out on its own path to the future as early as the mid-90s and hasn't changed course since. Add to that the digital society and other e-sagas that Tallinn rightly relates to the world. This is no empty chatter, no pompous cockalorum. The best thing the geographic (and no longer political) centre of the Baltic can do is not bother the Estonians and copy a thing or two. In the hope that Latvia won't get stuck on a 'Silk Route' or on the bridge between East and West. Because a joint Baltic bridge is the best way forward.”