Let me tell you about knitting with Estonians..

kudumineI always had an idea that I want to meet with my roots when I arrive to Krasnoyarsk. Did you know that in Krasnoyarsk region, there are 2346 Estonians ( according to National Survey, 2010) Soon there will be more, if I fall in love. Next to Estonians there are more Finnish- Hungarian language groups: around 400 Mordvins people, 3000 Mari people, 2000 Udmurt and Khanty people. Also, 300 Finns live here.

The Estonian Cultural Assembly “ Eesti” has existed in Krasnoyarsk for 25 years. They have regular Estonian lessons, study and cultural visits to Estonia, handicraft workshops and seminars. They also celebrate Christmas and Bon Fire´s together. Estonians in Siberia take part in Krasnoyarsk book fair and can learn local dances and songs here!

One afternoon I had a privilege to meet Vera Nikolajeva – the front lady of “ Eesti” I met this kind lady in National Krasnoyarsk Scientic Library. She was born in Estonia, Räpina city, but has lived in Krasnoyarsk Krai whole her life. She spoke good Estonian with a funny accent. She was alive, warm and welcoming.

After introducing their activities here and asking me about my future plans, we agreed that I will start teaching Estonian for local Estonians. Then Svetlana and a lady, whose name I do not remember, arrived with bags full of wool, threads, knitting needles. They all laid out their handicrafts and Seto-style knittings and totally blew my mind – such hard work and passion!

While we were having a discussion and talking about life in Estonia and Siberia and comparing those lives, all those ladies started knitting like professionals.

What are you just sitting, young Estonian gentleman! Start knitting!” told Vera, when she noticed me doing nothing.

Mind you – I was just suppose to meet ethnic Estonians here in Krasnoyask.I had no idea I came to knitting workshop.

All I could say:

I do not know how to knit!”

Did not you have knitting lessons in Estonia?”

I know I did. But then I remembered that I hated them. I remember my sweaty hands, and my shaking hands, my mother doing most of my homework and girls laughing at me, because I simply sucked at this. Now, when I start thinking about that I realized that, those lessons were terror for me. Horror, shock and humiliation.

Vera was not giving up on me. While I was sitting there like an idiot, she gave me blue wool and needle and showed me how to do it. I took the needle and wool with my sweaty hands again and tried. 10 years later I was knitting in Siberia again.

Too slow! You are doing it wrong! Look how fast I am,” sighed Vera and showed her magic.

I tried. I was scared. But step by step I started to manage. And guess what? Sitting there with ladies who could have been my grandmothers, speaking funny Estonian, trying Estonian chocolate and knitting – I really liked it. Maybe I am getting old.

So now you will knit 2 hours,” told Vera.

Sadly I had a meeting in 20 minutes and I could not. We agreed that I meet them on Sunday to start Estonian lessons. We parted ways and I felt that I had found new friends. Friends I can celebrate Christmas with. ( Since I will not be in Estonia for Christmas..)

Las ma koon eestlastega Siberis

Käsitöö ja kudumine? Sellega seonduvad mulle ainult värisevad käed, higised käed ja täielik alandus käsitöö tunnis. Õpetaja naeruvääristas mind mu oskamatuse pärast ja tüdrukud naersid. Mäletan, kuidas ema mu kodutöö ära tegi. Siiamaani külmavärinad.

Nüüd ma istusin aga Krasnojarski Teadusraamatukodus, käed higistamas ja vardad käes. Maja asus Karl Marksi tänaval ja kõrval oli Lenini väljak. Vot seda ma küll ei osanud oma elust ette näha.

Mind juhendas Vera Nikolajeva – armas, soe tädike, kes on Siberi eestlane. Sündis Räpinas, aga on elanud terve elu Krasnojarski Krais. Lauale olid laotatud Setu mustrid ja teise laua taga istus Svetlana ja üks naine, kelle nime ma ei mäletanud. Vanaema tahtis, et külastaksin oma esivanemaid. Mul on tunne, et ma leidsin endale uued vanaemad. Ei, mitte vanaemad – sõbrannad, nagu ütles mu kolleeg Nastja.

Näe, nii tee!” õpetas Vera, kui ma higiste kätega esimest pistet üritasin teha.

Liiga aeglasti, vaata kui kiiresti ma teen!” ütles ta ja võttis sinise lõnga mult. Ops, ops, ops – Vera oli nagu masin. Minul aga olid külmavärinad. Kudumine – jälle! Et mitte häbisse jääda, uurisin eestlaste kohta Siberis.

Vera väitis, et Krasnojarski “ Eesti” Selts on eksisteerinud juba 1992. aastast. Liikmete arv kõigub 300 – 500 vahel. Eestlasi on piirkonnas natuke üle 2000. Teistest soome-ugri rahvastest elab siin 4295 mordvalast 4633 neenetsit, 3314 mari, 2026 udmurti, 14 hanti, 6 mansit, 4 isorit, 303 soomlast, 159 komisid, 68 karjalast,7 vepsi, 6 saami.

Iga pühapäev on neile keeleõpe, kuhu mind daamide poolt juba õpetajaks värvati. Koos tähistatakse jõule, jaanipäeva, ja emakeele päeva. Samuti käiakse Eestis külas, tehakse rahvatantsu töötubasid. Muidugi on tähtsal kohal käsitöö. Terve rahvusvahelise kirjanduse osakond oli kudumitest lookas.

Mina enam ei osanud kududa, ( …kuigi mulle hakkas see vaikselt meeldima). Mulle meeldis kudumist vaadata ja eesti šokolaadi süüa.

Vahepeal tuiasin raamatukogu vahel ringi ja nägin eesti keele lugemeid Hando Runneli ja Tammsaare tsitaatidega. Härdus tuli peale, ilus hakkas. Mõtlesin oma kodumaale, oma kaunile keelele ja meie rahva kannatustele. Mõtlesin oma vanaemale ja sellele, kuidas meie keel on igale poole jõudnud. Eestis olles olin ennast kaotanud, Siberis lugedes eesti keelt leidsin jälle ennast. Tundetus, apaatia, valed eluvalikud, ignorantsus – kõik koledad isikuomadused kadusid. Oli ilus olla eestlane! Tahtsin jälle kirjutada. Tahtsin tähendada. Tahtsin aidata oma uusi sõbrannasid eesti kultuuri arendamisel.

*

See aasta sai Krasnojarski Eesti Selts 25-aastaseks. Oktoobris avatakse seto pitsi näitus, korraldatakse Suur Siberi eestlaste kokkutulek ja näidatakse Eesti graafikat. Plaanis on teha ka Eesti Päev.

written by Krismar Rosin

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