…why my half-Estonian children sing so loudly. (My sister-in-law, Marje, sent me this article.) From today’s Deutsche Presse Agentur, Estonian “song wars” come back on the beat:
Tallinn- A long-forgotten tradition of silencing political opponents by singing loudly was resurrected in Estonia on Saturday as electors gathered to choose a new president. “Even in the 1930s, Estonian radicals didn’t take part in street fights, but singing matches. It’s nice that the old tradition is being resurrected,” Andres Kasekamp, professor of Baltic politics at Tartu University, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.
While most of Eastern Europe was engulfed in a wave of extremist violence, Estonian radicals preferred the nocturne to the knife.
“When fascists and socialists clashed in those days, they tried to disrupt each other’s meetings by singing. The socialists would sing the Internationale, the fascists would sing patriotic songs, and whoever sang louder won,” Kasekamp said.
Saturday’s election – held, appropriately, at the Estonian National Opera – has brought the music back at fever pitch. The incumbent, 78-year-old Arnold Ruutel, faces a resounding challenge from 52-year-old former foreign minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves.
Thousands of partisans gathered outside the opera house on Saturday morning. In a uniquely Estonian crescendo of hostility, both sides held concerts to trumpet their candidates’ merits.
Hopefully Muslim clerics will find no reason to be upset about this…but one never knows, does one.