Several blogs and news agencies have written articles about the second official embassy to open in Second Life, the Estonian embassy (Sweden was the first). In the article on TechCrunch however, a small error had slipped in to the text. Estonia is not celebrating it’s 90th anniversary of independence this year. Finland is, today actually. Although Estonian have “borrowed” the national anthem from Finland and although the two languages, Finnish and Estonian, have some similarities, they are still two different countries, two different neighboring countries. Estonia is celebrating their 90th anniversary next year, in 2008. But back to Second Life.
In my opinion the interest towards Second Life has tipped over during this fall in Finland and I think the same goes for the other Scandinavian countries as well. A year ago when I first talked about using Second Life in teaching at my university the respons was not very enthusiastic. People found it more amusing than useful. But that has changed now. Every university and every school wants to know more about Second Life, they want to know how they could use it. I think we can expect some very rapid development on that front. Several universities in Finland have already expressed their interest in starting some activity in Second Life. And I believe that Estonian embassy in Second Life is a proof of same kind of development in Baltic countries.
The main purpose of the newly opened Estonian embassy is to provide information about Estonian history, politics, economy and culture to a world-wide audience. Currently the embassy’s only full time employed is a traditional Estonian dog breed, an Eesti Hagija or an Estonian retriever (roughly translated). This retriever is a bit smarter than your average retriever, as it can not only retrieve the news to you but also read Estonian news to you.
Virtual Estonia can be visited through this SLURL.