Sunday, April 29, 2007

Beauty of the mind versus stupidity in the streets

While I was enjoying beauties of my favourite town in Estonia - Tartu, while I was relaxing during the hiking trip to the swamps, hundreds of mainly Russian-speaking youngsters were crashing the shops, houses, kiosks and fighting with police in the centre of Tallinn. Supposedly because of the monument on the picture below.

It all started because of the monument. The situation has never been so bad at the streets of independent Estonia. Alcohol sales are forbidden. Mass gatherings are forbidden. Estonian embassy in Russia does not work. Russian officials threaten Estonia. Everyone is anxious and nervous about what is going to happen at 1st and 9th of May.

The monument is a Soviet-time memorial for Soviet soldiers who were fighting against German Fascists during World War II. The noble cause, indeed. So is it seen by ethnic Russians in Estonia - as many other Russians around the world. There is at least one person in almost every Russian family, who was killed in the war against Fascists during 1941-1945.

Soviet soldiers liberated Estonia from Germans fascists. And occupied Estonia for another 45 years. So is it seen by ethnic Estonians. There is at least one person in almost every Estonian family, who was deported to Siberia by Soviet Communists (in major part by Russians) in 1941 and 1946-1949.

So, the monument for Soviet soldiers symbolizes heroes and legends for some and occupation and repression for the others. Big difference indeed.

The understanding of what happened in 1940s and later on is as different.

Estonians and Russians get different history, they get different mentality.

The gap between them is widening even more by mass-media.

Estonian media, presenting what is happening around the monument, concentrates mainly on what damage it has been to Estonia and how big threat does violent Russian minority, backed by Russian official agenda, present to Estonia.

Russian television, which actually is propaganda machine, completely loyal to Kremlin (and being the most important source of information for Estonian Russians), presents what has happened, as yet another repression of local Russians by Estonian state, which drives neo-Fascist agenda and uses violent force against Russians.

The gap is widening.

Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Russia have hardly been tenser than at the moment. Some fiercest Russian nationalists among officials in Russia propose using force against Estonia.

Relations between Estonians and Estonian Russians are as bad as back in the beginning of 1990s.

It's sad to see that people deaf. Deaf to each other. They are deaf as millions of their predecessors throughout the whole nasty history of manhood.

People just allow themselves to go along with provocations of some hysterical nationalists, with irresponsible TV-reporters, with feeling of belonging to the mass. They prefer that to the dialogue and understanding of the real reasons behind some actions.

Many local Russians don't understand that the very presence of the monument in the heart of Tallinn symbolizes all the tortures and repressions done by Soviet Communists on the soil of Estonia.

Many Estonians don't understand that Russians suffer because of lack of concrete identity. Many of them don't really belong neither to Estonian, nor to Russian state. Instead of integration, we can see marginalization, resulting in violence in the streets.

That's the same as the feeling of a shy man, who is not really loved by women and cannot get along with any woman for 15 years. One day this man cannot hold whole negative energy inside him. He rapes a woman.

Who is guilty in this case? Surely, man, who commits crime? But doesn't part of the guilt lie on society itself, which has excluded man from its pleasures?

I, Deniss Rutšeikov, originating from Petserimaa , a piece of land formerly belonging both to Estonia and to Russia, coming from mixed Setu-Russian origin, being raised in Russian-speaking family, being educated in Russian-speaking high-school and Estonian-speaking university, a chief of one the leading youth organisations in Estonia, a citizen of Estonian Republic, claim that there is no nation, which is guilty in anything. There are no "good" or "bad" nations. There is just lack of education resulting in stupid actions.

I believe in humans. I believe in beauty of their minds. I hope for another "singing revolution" like in Estonia of 1989-1991. Rather than for another former Yugoslavia in 1991-1995. Rather than Chechnya in 1994-2004. Rather than Northern Ireland in 1963-1998. Rather than Somalia at the moment. Rather than Sri Lanka at the moment. Rather than all of these atrocities done by stupidity, not by the beauty of the mind.

Hiking trip to the swamps

Last weekend me, Siim Säinas and one more guy from our homw-town Valga went to the 2-days hiking trip to the swamp area next to Peipsi Lake (Emajõue Suursoo Kaitseala).

Here are some visual highlights of the trip, which was both relaxing and impressive.

Modest, yet beautiful and surptising Estonian nature is something, which we are really proud of!

The total area of marshes and swamp forests is over fifth (around 22%) of Estonia's territory.

Me and old fishermen-boat

The old wooden house we spent a night in

Heroes of the nature :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

We know how to have fun - my team's crazy hair party!


There is a plenty of things we don't know how to do in our team.

But if there is one, which unites all of us, it is that we know how to have fun! :)

We proved it last Friday night, when we hosted "MC Crazy Hair Party". The dress code of the party was simple - crazy hair :) Ms. Pärn and Ms. Toms made crazy haircuts for themselves, for MC boys and for some more aiesecers, who cam to us.

Results was astonishing, as it can be seen on some of the pictures. :)

Mr. Säinas and Mr. Rutšeikov meanwhile spent many hours on preparing glourious session called "How to fail miserably or in other words how to be a loser?".

We had plenary time, we had group work and some elements of competition.

And in the end - the old Chinese wisdom about how to be a true looser found and translated by Mr. Säinas and Mr. Rutšeikov:

How to be a true looser?

- Be a bitch.

- Kill small animals - don't care about anything.

- Tell others that they look ugly. Constantly.

- Speak about yourself. A lot.

- Take a lot of responsibilities and never finish them. Never.

- If you go out with your girlfriend, pretend that you forgot your wallet.

- Stink.

- Laugh at people. Especially when they fall down.

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