Estonia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Estonia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

For a nation of around 1.3 million inhabitants, Estonia has madea real impression on the world stage since regaining itsindependence less than two decades ago. In the mid-1980s, it wasknown, if at all, as a Soviet backwater, but the collapse ofCommunism saw the emergence of a republic determined to make up forlost time and establish itself as a forward-thinking Westernstate.For all their love of entrepreneurship, the digital age and allit has to offer, Estonians are quiet and reserved, hardworking,fiercely jealous of their privacy, and lovers of nature. They canseem distant, almost rude on first meeting, but if you make theeffort to get to know them, their sincerity and self-deprecatinghumor shine through. As one businessman who works in Tallinnobserved, “an Estonian friend is a friend for life.”Culture Smart! Estonia is for any visitor—whetherbusinessperson, student, or tourist—who wants to understandEstonian society and be culturally prepared for a visit. We tracethe country’s turbulent history and try to see how the past hasshaped the collective and personal values of today’s Estonians. Welook at the Estonian people at work, at play, and at home, andoffer tips to help you get along with Estonian colleagues andacquaintances—without any awkward silences!