But the situation has changed. Globalisation, expansion of the European Union, re-established cooperation with the Baltic countries and many other changes have made people in the Nordic countries question the nature of the Nordic lifestyle, mentality and identity.
The best way to define oneself is through comparison to others. For instance knowing about life in Jordania can help one understand how different the Nordic countries really are from the Middle-East where people value quoting the Qur'an by heart more than reading to children children’s books, Ingolf Thuesen writes. And thus it becomes clearer what the Nordic mentality is in comparison to other cultures.
Furthermore might it also be a good idea not only to compare the Nordic countries to faraway cultures but also be active and reshape the Nordic identity? Clara Henriksdotter writes how The Norden Association* is functioning in the member countries over past years. Unfortunately the local branches of Norden Association in the Baltic countries are not very active. At the same time they are very fond of the Nordic countries. Will this be the next step for future developments?
But do the Baltic countries belong to Nordic countries at all? They do, and they want to belong to the Nordic countries, Richard Bærug, born in Norway but working the past twenty years in Riga as executive director for the travel agency The MICE Cream, writes. He proposes broader cooperation between Nordic and Baltic countries and asks if co-opting the Baltic countries as new members of the Nordic Council would be a good idea. Patrik Göransson, Swedish born priest working in Tallinn since over ten years finds that Estonians are close to Nordic people by their mentality, too.
How important is the Baltic question for the Nordic identity?
Have a good reading, dear friends!
Raivo Juurak, editor of DialogWeb in Estonia