walking through life

Meetin’ with the folk: back to my Lithuanian roots.

To some it comes as no surprise that there is some Lithuanian blood running in my veins. My lately passed away grandma was a natural born Lithuanian. We have not been in contact with them that much in the last 20(?) years but due to sand occasions – death of my grandma’s sister and her own death this year, the connection is slowly recovering.

On Saturday (15.05.09) early morning (2am) we (Me, oncle Rein and his daughters Triin and Anett aka Netu and my mother) headed for Lithuania Rokiškis, where a ceremony in honour for my grandma’s sisters who died a year ago. It was a beautiful ceremony in a church, followed by visit to the cemetary – Lithuanians have much nicer cemetaries then we do…

Already in the morning (we arrived 1-2h before we planned, since my oncle was a really quick driver – we slept the whole time of course) we were fed with warm food, traditional cake „Šakotis“, hand-made chocolate, coffee (by the way, they serve coffee giving the powder – not instatnt! Which you then put in the cup and add water – this is called a students’ coffee in Estonia, where the coffegrains stay in the pottom of the cup. The sugar was in those paer things like in café, this was really cool. And they usually don’t use milk with coffee). Back to the ceremony… after the cemetary we went to a restoraunt, where we sat, ate and listened speeches for 4-5 hours if I´m correct. It is interesting how Lithuanians are much more speech-people then Estonians, I guess they are more open to show their emotions.

During that time I had a chance to get to know my generation of my Lithuanian relatives. Since we were put on the KIDS table :D. I am happy, that we could all talk in English, so there was no language barrier. I found out that most of them were studying in Vilnius and lot of them have been or planne to take part in Erasmus. It was really easy to communicate with them!

After eating like hell, we went to a place 40km outside Rokiškis, where there was a summer/turism place that beloned to one of my Lithuanian oncles. It was amazing place on the shore of a lake. And we had some more food. We went for a trip with water-cycles which was not as easy as I remembered… but it was gorgeous´. The weather was not that cold, no rain and it was great to do some exercise.

You know these „cow“ candies? Well, the Lithuanian ones are much better then Estonian ones. They have really flowing and tasty filling.

Some went for a sauna and dip in the lake, I didn’t feel like it this time, maybe next time.

Since it was Eurovision night, we all gathered in the TV room by 22. And what a night it was! Never before has Eurovision been so exciting!!! We were in Lithuania, so we had to hope best for the Lithuanians as well as for our own „Rändajad“ song by Urban Symphony. AND, since my now Third home country NORWAY had the best song ever, I was cheering for them the most (Estonia wouldn’t been able to pay for the second Eurovision contest – bancrupcy would have hit us…). And they did win – words cannot explain how happy I was, I simply love that country, that song, Alexander Rybak is a Fairytale! I feel so proud.

With that joy in my soul, we went to sleep (after sending my norsk friends congrats sms-sses, especially since it was the night/early morning of their national day – 17th of May).

Morning brought more food, barbeque (fish and meat) and gifts from Lithuanian relatives. I got a doll with Lithuanin National Costume – you think I should now have now 3 types of national costumes? Estonian, Norwegian and Lithuanian?

We left round 1, headed to get some national food (and not because we were hungry!) and ended up in a little place were we ate … well, thats where I started writing the blog.
We also did our shopping to waste exchaned money and cos it was a bit cheeper. Some jewellery, candies, vodka, summer slippers, pink ones of course.

We also tried to find Statoil for a good coffee, but we found it just after Lithuanian-Latvian border. But by that time we already had had two coffees at two cafeterias. So now we are in Latvia, heading for first Valga to meet some relatives there and then home. I guess it will be round 22 we get there.

So there. I am happy that I had the chance to go to Lithuania after 10 years, to see people I met last when I was 6-7 years old and to meet „my“ generation and exchange contacts with them. I really hope it is the beginning of renewed relationship with my slektninger.

About the Author

liisi

Performance coach, blogger and activist.

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