Talking to Expats: Pawan Kumar Dutt

more than a year ago
Over the last few years, Tallinn has increasingly become a destination for foreigners from all over the globe to lay down new roots. In our new series, we ask expats a few questions including their reasons for coming here and why they decided to stay. Each of them has a unique story to tell and we trust that whether you are merely visiting, or planning on making your stay in Estonia a longer one – you’ll find out something new or interesting about this increasingly multi-cultural Nordic State.

Indian-born Pawan Kumar Dutt moved from India with his Estonian wife to escape the chaos. He’s been living in Tallinn with his family since 2007 and is proud to call it home.

What originally brought you to Estonia and where are you from?
I am a lawyer from India. In 2002 I met this lovely Estonian girl (now my wife) online and love blossomed. We got married in India. She could not adjust to the chaos of India so I ended up in Estonia and have been living here since 2007.

What were the reasons that made you want to relocate to Estonia?
Purely family reasons. Sometimes the question arises that maybe we should all go back to India since work there is booming. But it seems I am going to be here forever now.

Did you experience or how much of a culture shock was it for you to move here?
It was not much of a culture shock. I adjusted to life here pretty quickly. Initially things were a bit boring, but thanks to the economic crisis of 2009, I was able to make a few lucky investments and life has been fun ever since. We now live in a house in the countryside outside of Tallinn. Not having to experience the crowds of India on a daily basis is actually a blessing.

What are some of your favourite spots in Tallinn?
Old Town is still the best place. I often walk through Old Town all the way up to the Balti Jaam Market. There are many antique and flea market shops on this route and I browse almost all of them.

How would you describe Estonia as a country, and Estonians?
It is nice and peaceful here. No over-population and no pollution. Its rich history and being close to Finland and Sweden makes life even more interesting. Estonians can be very happy-clappy if an expat can be lucky enough to get into their inner circle. Thanks to my wife, a lot of doors opened for me. Although I must admit I got a bit over-integrated and even ended up joining the local Defence League (Kaitseliit) paramilitary organisation (despite holding an Indian passport). I was in it for 4 years, but had to quit because time is scarce. The down side is that now I have to steer clear of Russia for security reasons because somehow I have this NATO stamp all over me. Even transiting through Moscow airport seems like a nightmare.

How is it to live here and (does it feel like home now?)
We have a roof over our heads, the bills are paid, my wife and kids are happy, so it’s fine by me. I teach law in a local university (TalTech) and also work as a law advisor. So there is plenty of travelling every month and that keeps me busy. Another joy is gardening, but our two hectares is quite a handful.

What is your favourite Estonian word or words and why?
My favorite Estonian pick up line is ‘Suudle mind või muidu saad laksu’ (give me a kiss or I will slap you). I used it only once in my life and ended up getting married!



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