New Book Published in Australia, Entirely in Estonian: for Estonians

Rex Rattur 11. sept. 2015

Estonians have an affinity with trees, nature, customs, music and many other things. At the heart of their relationships is their love of their own language: Estonian.

They love to speak it, to hear it spoken, to read Estonian and to sing with their pure voices jne. An endless list from which they derive pleasure and meaning in life.

Words in Estonian contain not only meaning but powerful emotions. Accordingly the people from Estonia, a land of ice and snow in winter, of indescribable beauty in spring and endless white nights in summer and of a breathtaking richness in autumn – take great care in choosing their words.

Mina armastan sind means I love you but when said in Estonian to another Estonian; he or she is knocked practically in senseless by the words. The intensity of the emotion is almost too painful to bear: the soul aches for the other person.

They, the Estonians, are in the eyes of the people from other lands abrupt to the point of rudeness in interjecting themselves in conversations in correcting any mistakes foreigners make in pronunciation or in speaking Estonian.

The new book is written entirely in Estonian. The story is about Wello Rattur's experiences in the period 1909-1944 in Estonia and from 1944-1949 in Sweden.

The Soviet occupation lasted for almost 50 years. In that time it was risky to speak of life in the past, about your family (grandparents and relatives) or of friends that had disappeared.

In Estonia there was a special term for it Kadumine (Tr: disappearance). It even became a concept understood by every person in Estonia, including young and old. So there was a disconnect between - what you could speak about and reality: a gap between truth and lies. The Soviet media tried to implant false memories.

The book is a true story; it is a non-fiction book, by an ordinary person, who witnessed life in Estonia and wrote a memoir about it, which is now published as an unexpurgated, unedited manuscript. For Estonians on a working-visa in other countries, it is like a window into the past of their parents and relatives. The reader will feel the emotion as Wello hikes through Saaremaa or of his life on that little islet in the sea halfway between Estonia and Finland.

For Estonian ex-pats, it will bring back memories of their past, the joy and happiness. It will strongly evoke memories of their own experiences in their former homeland.