Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I miss you.
Until we meet again!
- author unknown
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Klejniki, Poland

On Thursday, February 18, 2010 Greg and I took a short road-trip to visit the village his mother grew up in, Klejniki (pronounced Clay-neekee). The village is about an hour drive southeast of Bialystok. There are three sections of the village, Zachac, Klebanszczyna and Kolonia. Greg's mother grew up in the very last house on the west side of the village in the Zachac (pronounced Za-hach) section.

Driving west, the Orthodox Church is on the right hand side and is the only church in the village. The construction on the existing church began in 1974 and was completed in 1988. The stained glasses and alter from fieldstone were made by local residents. The old stone fence surrounding the church was preserved from the 19th century.

A little further down the road on the right is a small roadside chapel and from what Greg's mom told me, before a person was buried, their body would stay the night in this chapel. It is no longer used for that purpose, but now it is common for the body to be set up outside the chapel prior to burial, for family and friends to say their last farewell. Also located at this corner is an informational plaque written in Polish and English, describing briefly the history of the village, focusing mainly on the history of it's Orthodox religion.

At this corner a right turn will lead you to the Orthodox cemetery where several of the Osipiuk relatives are buried. We were able to walk a short way into the cemetery, following the fresh tracks of someone who had visited their relative. Unfortunately the trail ended and the snow was too deep to continue to find anyone we were looking for.

Entrance to the Orthodox cemetery in Klejniki

Orthodox Chapel in the cemetery

Back out on the main road, continiuing west, the last house in the village is where Greg's mother grew up.
Osipiuk house in Klejniki village
Tool shed in the back of the property and the yellow out house that is still in use today

Each village is marked with a cross marking the beginning and one marking the end of the village. This cross sits on the corner of the Osipiuk house.

A more contemporary way of marking the end of a village or city in Poland is the name of the city with a red line through it.

1 comment:

Elżbieta said...

My name is Miroslaw Rudczyk. Photograph of the grave of my father Victor is placed on your blog. The inscription on the tomb is in the Belarusian language. Nicholas Viera and explain it to you. It's very nice that you remember my family. If you are interested in stories of our family, you can write directly to me. E-mail: