Finnish controversial Estonian nickname poll forces an apology ({{commentsTotal}})


Finnish leading daily Helsingin Sanomat was forced to take down an online article in its monthly magazine supplement Kuukausiliite that featured a list of some more, some less offensive nicknames for Estonians, after Estonian President and many others took to Twitter to express their horror.

Helsingin Sanomat editor-in-chief Kaius Niemi issued an official apology on Twitter for what he later said was supposed to be a piece of light entertainment, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) reported.

The article listed the top 30 reader suggestions for nicknames of Estonians, many of which were based on stereotypes. Suggestions included monikers like "varttiryssa" - "quarter Russian" - and "virus", "they chase money", "they buy BMWs as soon as they can afford it", and "they don't believe in war".

President Toomas-Hendrik Ilves expressed his amazement on the prank piece on Saturday. His tweet "I am speechless" also drew dozens of comments from apologetic Finns who condemned the article.

After the article was removed from HS website, Ilves tweeted again:

Editor: M. Oll

+{{cc.replyToName}} {{cc.body}}
No comments yet.
Logged in as {{user.alias}}. Log out
Login failed

Register user/reset password

Name needs to be fewer than 32 characters long
Comment needs to be fewer than 600 characters long

Independence Day: Estonia’s way into the future isn’t a race

There is a lack of connection between the Estonian state, and the people who live here. While it expects a lot of the state, Estonian society doesn’t seem ready to contribute, writes Viktor Trasberg.

Lotman: Security academy would be crucial Estonian identity point in Narva

In an opinion piece published by Eesti Päevaleht, Tallinn University professor Mihhail Lotman found it important to overcome the mental barrier separating Ida-Viru County from the rest of Estonia.

About us

Staff & contacts | Comments rules

Would you like to contribute an article, a feature, or an opinion piece?

Let us know: