Constructing narratives through story telling: A study of refugees in Estonia

  • Aminul Islam
Keywords: refugees, Estonia, narrative, storytelling, identity


Very little investigation has been done on refugees in Estonia and their construction of narratives in a new society. It is believed that refugees portray their memories of their own country while in exile to be able to create their present individuality in a new land and to adapt to a new culture. This paper has attempted to investigate refugees who were placed at refugee accommodation centre in Estonia and to analyse their present and past memories and stories to associate with their coping mechanisms, while they relate their stories in adapting to a new land. Based on qualitative study and from in-depth interviews, this paper brings out the argument that despite being displaced from their homeland, refugees portray their homeland as idyllic stories; family and community life are emphasized with the contrast of individualism. This paper argues that specific narratives can produce double marginalized people while at the same time stories told and memories are significant in forming agency to establish counter-narratives.