Vanha, ruskea puutalo, jossa koristeelliset valkoiset ikkunanpuitteet ja räystäs. Värikuva. An old, brown wooden house, which has decorated window frames and eaves. Coloured picture.

The house of the Kondratjev’s in the village Padmozero, Äänisniemi

Picture: Olga Toivanen. Picture from personal collection

I would like to say a few words about samovars, and I even prepared a picture. Should I show? This is our house in the countryside, in Äänisniemi. And a samovar like this. Size of a bucket! A bucket of water could fit in. Sveta and I traveled to the countryside when we were children. We were taken to the countryside to our grandparents every year for the whole summer. Samovar was a family member. First thing in the morning when everyone had woken up, grandmother immediately asked grandfather to put the samovar to its place. Shingles were used to heath it up. But what was used to ignite them?
Daša: A boot.
Olga: Exactly. But why a boot, does someone know?
Daša: Well, to blow air*.
Olga: Yes. The boots were indeed used to pump air, and the shingles burst to flames. In Russia, the boot was used because people took samovars were with them to trips. And in order to be able to take in less things, soft boots made of leather were used to help light up the samovar. It is a warm childhood memory, icons, and a big table… On the table a huge samovar because the family was big. And five girls of about the same age, sitting.

Olga

* A soft leather boot was placed around the horn of the samovar. Air was blown to the samovar’s firebox by pressing the boot