16 September 2010

Salu family history

The Salu family is huge - even bigger than the Bergman family. If you're a Bergman, you understand the audacity it takes to say that. Today, we were taken to the sites of a few important pieces of family history - that even some of the family here hadn't seen! I definitely think our visit is bringing the family together! :D

Every Estonian has access to a sauna... Here's the one at Papa's family homestead in Veia ; it's smaller than the smoke sauna we experienced. This one isn't a smoke sauna, so the smoke from the fire and the steam from the coals escaped from the chimney.
The Sauna at Papa's Homestead 
I remember that Nanna and papa visited this stone but didn't know the importance of it. Etched in stone, it says that Kubja Hans Senior (1684-1751),  Kubja Hans Junior (1727 -1800) and their wives had this land and that their relatives took on the name Salum (which later became our family name Salu). At the bottom, it says that our family has 1600 members, which was the count from 1990 when the rock was installed. It's not common for Estonians (or maybe for most people), to be able to trace their families back that far.
Papa's House
We didn't get to see as much of the house as we'd have liked but I'm kind of glad that we didn't, because I think we may have been disappointed at the way it's being lived in. The family living there things that other members in the family want to take the house from them. However, we did get to spend time in the kitchen and look through old family photos. No mom, I didn't see a fireplace. I didn't expect to see that even pictures in the 1970's and 1980's would be in black and white! Knowing the word kiisu actually came in handy, as there was a really cute, very tiny kitten in the kitchen. The family living there didn't seem to have a lot, but served us coffee, cookies, bread, vodka, and coffee liquor.They were kind and I do think they appreciated that family from America was there to visit. When we left, I said goodbye to Eino in Russian and he said something  back to me about there not going to be a war. Scott said "I'll see you again soon" in Russian but it sounded to them like he said "I'm drunk", even though he said it correctly.
Arno's Tree
There's a tree planted for every one of my papa's siblings. This is his tree! It stands next to Osvald's tree and is the biggest of all of the trees. Close by to the house, there was also a small forest of trees that Papa and his brothers planted.

To be continued when I have the patience!


  1. Kelse,

    The blogs are wonderful, I am so glad you decided to do this. What an amazing opportunity and experience to be able to see your Estonian family and to be able to experience their rich culture! I'm so proud of you for throwing caution to the wind and taking it all in! I look forward to your new blogs and thank you very much for the card, I received it late last night. xoxox- Neet

  2. Thanks, Neet! I'm glad I'm doing it too! There's no way I'd be so caught up in remembering names of places and food if it weren't for the blog! Then, by the time I make it back stateside, I will have forgotten mostly everything! Now I have it all recorded for me! I'm glad you liked your card. I wrote them before going to bed on my last night, so I hope it's coherent!XOXO -lifer

  3. Kelsey May, how fun. I can only think about my mom spending hours & hours on myheritage.com, and how something like this would be the trip of a lifetime for her. :) So cool. I'm so happy you're having fun my dear. I got a skype---so looking forward to chatting!

    ps) i finally got my card, my parents had it and didn't notify me!!! lol, thank you sweety!