According to MP Henn Põlluaas of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE), President Kersti Kaljulaid’s Independence Day speech brought across a “reprehensible” globalistic point of view.
“President Kaljulaid said in her speech that anyone who recognized our language, customs and values could be an Estonian,” Põlluaas wrote in a Facebook post. “Yes, of course, but that’s just one out of a lot of conditions. Recognition alone is not enough. I, for example, also recognize the Finnish language, customs, and values, those of the Germans, French, British, Latvians, and so forth. So who am I by this definition? Somehow naive, this explanation of being Estonian. It’s a multicultural, globalistic, and rootless approach that meshes with what Kaljulaid said earlier about every e-resident being an Estonian as well. Are they really?”
Põlluaas did not explain whether or not he makes a connection between the language, customs, and values of the nations he listed, and a person actually living there.
Põlluaas’ comment referred to the president’s Independence Day speech, held on Friday evening. Kaljulaid had said that “Anyone who appreciates our language, customs, and values can be an Estonian. Thus, they, as well as we, can consider themselves Estonian.” She further said that while it was possible to legally regulate citizenship, becoming part of the Estonian nation couldn’t be handled the same way.
Kaljulaid also stated that Estonians couldn’t “prohibit everything that we don’t wish to see”, as this in the end would work towards destroying Estonians’ own freedom. “We cannot make Estonians of everyone who wants to live here. This should not be our goal. In this way we would destroy our Estonian nature,” she said.
Kaljulaid also stated that she understood that most Estonians wanted to hold onto their behavioral space more jealously than the people of many Western European countries. “Most of us are not ready to live in a multicultural society where Estonian conduct would not be more important than others,” the president said. Still, the countries which many believed were losing their identity to newcomers had been more successful than Estonia had been in creating a uniform linguistic space, even when they were less committed to protecting their own behavioral space.
Integration into the linguistic environment started in kindergarten and pre-school, through natural communication between adults and children, not through language instruction, Kaljulaid said.
The president also urged Estonians to look at similarities rather than differences. “The customs of the other ethnic groups who live here do not differ very much from ours. There are people in the world whose understanding of society is radically different than ours. This does not mean that there is no place for them in Estonia, be they war refugees or labor migrants. However, we must be able to express what we expect of them in order to function together in Estonian society,” the president stated.
Editor: Dario Cavegn
Source: BNS, ERR