For a moment I thought I was back in Estonia on the ferry to Saaremaaa. All around me I heard Estonian spoken and quite a few cars were flying Estonia’s tricolour, our blue, black and white flag.
But no, this was the Kingston ferry headed for Wolfe Island. A good sized group of us was headed for the third annual picnic held at the cottage of Anu, Eva and Reet Taavet.
Kingstonian Estonians are a group that was formed a few years back primarily on the initiative of Eva Eichenbaum Barnes. She had recently moved to the Kingston area from British Columbia and one day she decided to find out if there were other people in the Kingston area with Estonian roots. She placed advertisements in the local media and was pleasantly surprised at the number of responses. Thus, Kingstonian Estonians, a group consisting mainly of second generation (that is born outside Estonia) people, most of them married to non-Estonians, came into being and continues, as some would say, to carry on strong.
This year’s picnic was well attended with some new faces. Several people were from Ottawa and one even lived in far away St. Catharines. All three generations were there and even one from the fourth generation. I think the ages ranged from a few months to 88.
The buffet table consisted of Estonian style food items and as usual, everyone tried to outdo the others in the dishes they brought along for the “pot luck” lunch. The result was exceptionally tasty and attractive.
Eva Eichenbaum Barnes and Ülle Baum looked after the musical and ring games portion. The songs included Viljandi paadimees and Estonia’s national anthem which were translated so that everyone knew what the words meant.
The program also included several competitive games. Unfortunately, I was unable to watch or participate in these since I had to catch the early ferry to make another commitment.
A big thank you to Anu, Eva and Reet and everyone that helped make this event such a success.
Kingstonian Estonians’ Suvine koosviibimine