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Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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Estonians tend to portray themselves as hard-working, reliable, smart, innovative and friendly.

In attempt to avoid being seen as obtrusive or aggressive, Estonians (even service staff) keep to themselves and wait for you to make the first move. Once there, you will be greeted with an honest and kind attitude. Compliments given by an Estonian are genuine, handshakes are valid and invitations heartfelt.

The Estonian sense of humour is dry, sarcastic and quite often politically incorrect.

Estonia is one of the most non-religious countries in the world but traditions are valued. Often, Christian holidays and rituals are followed or mixed with pagan ones. Since the 16th century, Estonia has been a predominantly protestant (Lutheran) country.

Estonians love nature and feel part of it: weekends are often spent hiking, camping or just walking in the forests or by the sea – both have played an important role throughout history.

Photography, cars and new technical widgets & gadgets can also be considered a "big thing" in Estonia. Theatre, art and reading are also an important part of Estonian culture.

Edited byatjackiejohns on 02.11.2009

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