On Migration in Estonia, and why we should speak about it?

On Migration in Estonia, and why we should speak about it?

In 2017, NGO Mondo conducted a survey on migration in several European countries, including Estonia. The results were eye opening -only 28% of young people in Estonia thought that they were well informed on the topic of migration, and 31% thought, that immigration to Europe by people from outside of the EU is problematic. In my opinion, this kind of statistics show that people are still uninformed about the wider concept of immigration, and about the reasons behind  people moving abroad.

People have moved around the world as long as they have existed, it is just that we live during the times when the means of moving around have become more efficient than they have ever been, so the moving of peoples happens faster, among other factors such as conflicts, search for better opportunities and climate change that make people move.

I study Anthropology, therefore I try to understand from where the fear and stereotypes come from. I often speak to my grandparents, who are concerned about the welfare of Estonian culture and traditions. They are afraid that those things so dear to their heart will cease to exist. Unfortunately, they are not the only people who think that way. And that’s why we decided to create 9 short documentaries on migration to go to schools with them and start discussions around the topic. 

Our main aim is to explore the meaning behind migration– today’s reality. Our stories are different, some people migrate, because their parents live in different cities. Some people decide to go on an exchange year, or move for love. The meaning behind the word is much more broad than the stereotype and this is the thing we are trying to show. Migration is the reality of the 21st century. Estonian culture won’t be disappearing. It is already not the same that it was 50, 100 years ago and it keeps on shifting and diversifying and I personally think that it is beautiful and very exciting. When the films will be ready with their diverse characters and stories from both here and there, stories of friendship and alienation and most notably, hope, we wish that these stories would give the young people a better understanding on migration and its broad context.It is a very important discussion to have in order to create a more informed, peaceful and welcoming society, where everybody could feel like at home.