File this under “you can’t make this sh*t up”.
There is an article in Russian that does a bit of explaining; for those who cannot read the Russian you could Google-translate the description – but the video/audio is incomparable.
Here’s a brief synopsis:
Boy meets Girl.
Boy is a Russian tourist and girl is a local Estonian.
Boy asks Girl for directions to a store, in Russian. Girl, thinking that Boy is a Russian-speaking Estonian resident, unleashes a minute-and-a-half yelling tirade about how Estonia is Europe, and he must speak Estonian, and if he doesn’t, then he needs to move to Russia (she continues even after Boy whips out a tourist map). Girl pushes Boy in the shoulder. Girl storms off in righteous indignation.
As Girl walks away, Boy makes a reference to staying at a hotel, and suddenly she is all “You’re a tourist? This totally changes things!” and shows Boy way to the supermarket. Boy is all, “Wow you are so nice and pleasant! In Russia all we hear is that all Estonian are fascists!” Girl is all, “No, don’t believe it, that’s all Kremlin propaganda!”
Boy and Girl warmly shake hands and part ways.
Instead of passing judgment, I’m just going to ask some questions.
- Boy looks like he should be in middle school. If he were a local, and thus subject to the mandatory primary education in Estonia, why in the WORLD would he not speak Estonian, and say that he “doesn’t understand” anything when the Girl yells at him (this REALLY pisses her off, by the way). I don’t know what rules about homeschooling in Estonia are, but considering that the scene is ostensibly set in a residential area of a city, it’s unlikely that the boy had been kept in some isolated shack full of Russians all this time, before procuring a map to go on a grocery run.
- How does the girl, who looks pre-teen, know how to speak Russian in a country that’s been phasing out anything Russia-adjacent for the last 25 years? I am pretty sure she is learning English and German as foreign languages in school.
- Does the Estonian TV that made this commercial (and as a proxy, the Girl character in it) think the best way to treat the Russian-speaking population in the country is to yell and assault them? Yeah, this will inspire goodwill and encourage them to embrace Estonian language and customs!
- Boy says that his family is visiting from Murmansk, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from the polar circle. Yet they chose to go to Estonia in the dead of winter. Why aren’t they in Turkey or Bali?
- Why is the scene set in the most nondescript residential neighborhood in Estonia, which, for all its worth, could very well BE Murmansk? Tallinn is a gorgeous city, couldn’t the director find a better backdrop, anything that looks like there MIGHT actually be a hotel within a 5-mile radius? Disbelief not suspended.
- What in the world is this boy watching or whom is he listening to if all he hears in Russia is that all Estonians are fascists (oh yeah, there was that time over a decade ago when someone in Estonia put up a monument to an SS soldier)? Has the Boy hacked into the secure line of Kremlin’s Office of Anti-Estonian Affairs? I don’t even remember the last time Estonia made it into a Russian news bulletin.
- What is this tween girl learning in school if at her age is she already intimately familiar with what anti-Estonian Kremlin propaganda looks like in Russia? #ThereIsNoAntiRussianPropagandaInEstonia #TheseAreNotTheDronesYouAreLookingFor
- Wait, if all Estonians are fascists – rather, if all Russians think that all Estonians are fascists – why the hell is this boy’s family going to Estonia on vacation??? Are fascist countries YOUR preferred vacation destination?
- Actually, never mind. The Girl assaults the Boy verbally (you don’t have to know the language – any language – to understand when you’re being yelled at) and PHYSICALLY, and he just stands there and takes it instead of walking away from the crazy chick, and afterwards when Girl gets a clue, Boy is all OMG YOU ARE SOOOOOO NICE! ESTONIANS ARE SOOOOOO NICE! Clearly the poor kid is suffering some sort of PTSD/Stockholm Syndrome hybrid from growing up in a family that takes him from the polar circle to the frozen fascist Baltics “on vacation,” where he interprets abuse as a sign of friendliness.