Warm in Tallinn: NAKS has the Knack!
Paul Harman re-visits Estonian TYA after ten years – what’s changed?
Must have been the red wine – Dank u wel, KLM – but I started scribbling in Russian as soon as we reached the Baltic. Mediaeval Hansa ports, from Bruges and Lubeck to Tallinn, traded furs and other valuable goods between Russia and the booming West. Today 26% of Estonian citizens are of Russian origin and many speak no Estonian at all. My hotel was staffed mainly by Russian speakers -though all had excellent English. By contrast, the young theatre people performing and running this year’s annual NAKS festival and most of their audiences were all Estonian speakers. When I last came in 2008 a couple of companies played in Russian.