Orthodox Easter in Tallinn
It was Orthodox Easter while I was in Tallinn, so the Nevski Cathedral (pictured above) was a hub of activity most of the time I was there. I poked my head in a couple of times and Orthodox Easter services seemed to be nothing like the Roman Catholic ones I was used to. There were lots of different things going on at once, it was quite a commotion. Traditional Russian easter cakes were being sold out front (to be blessed inside) for about two bucks a piece, we didn't buy any.
There's quite a few Russians in Estonia, they're something like 28% of the population of the country on the whole and 40% of Tallinn in particular. The ethnic Russians seem to have second class status within the country. Russians were the taxi drivers, Russians were cleaning the hotel, Russians were working in all the souvenier stores on the holiday. Mrs. Connard was quite surprised to see Russians in this position, as it's typically the other way around. All I could say is that payback's a bitch.
When it came to Estonians and their opinions concerning Communisim, Russians, and particularly occupation they weren't exactly warm. I recalled stories from the mid nineties where ethnic Russians in Estonia weren't given Estonian cistizenship. But I assume that was all corrected as a requirement for EU membership. I do wonder though, if Russians in Estonia have to use Estonian as the language of education and government. I'd imagine they do. Estonian seemed to be a really difficult language. It's Finno-Urgic, not Indo-European. There's something like 14 different cases that it uses. I didn't even try to speak it when up there. But that didn't matter, as the whole country seemed to be tri-ligual. Everyone knew Russian, English, and Estonian. That alone was quite amazing, as the three languages really aren't related at all.