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Rye bread/ Must leib ja eestlased

Rye Bread and Estonians.


Rye bread is the staple of the Estonian diet. There is not a single Estonian in the world that would not miss black bread when away from home for a long time. Very often people say that there may be better food and better climate abroad but without black bread, meals are not complete. For centuries, rye bread has been one of the most important foods for Estonians. It is no coincidence that all other foods, with the exception of porridge, are called leivakrvane (lit. side dish of bread). Rye bread accompanied most foods. Its role in a meal became so important that its absence from the table, even when other food was there, was seen to signify extreme poverty and hardship. In time, bread began to symbolize all food and income. The importance of bread in our ancestors lives is illustrated by the fact that bread was credited with supernatural qualities and even used in witchcraft. Many beliefs were also linked to bread. One was never allowed to complain about bread, whether it was chaffy or, in later days, baked of clean rye flour. In the more distant past, in the Baltic countries the most common grain for bread was barley. At first, barley flour was used to bake barley-cakes and later on scones or barley bread.

Rye bread replaced barley bread relatively late in Estonia, most likely at the beginning of the second millennium, when rye cultivation started to develop. Since then Estonian bread has been black bread rye bread. Rye turned out to be the most persistent and stable grain for the local climate, therefore rye cultivation increased from the 11th century onward. It is no wonder that during the following centuries, rye became the main grain culture and bread grain in Estonia. Rye was grown in the home fields; wheat grain was imported from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. For most of the Finno-Ugric peoples and the Slavs, the word bread has common roots. Linguists consider the Estonian word leib, the Finnish leip, Carelian leib, Vepsan leib, Livonian lba, and Votic leip to be Germanic loans. The word was also lent to Slavic languages (Russian xe, Polish chleb). The Lithuanian kliepas and Latvian klaips are considered to belong to the same word group. Even in Baltic German, a loaf of bread is Klaipe (Brotlaib). Rye bread has fed Estonians for ten centuries; therefore it truly deserves to be called our national food. Yet often when we talk about national food, we unjustifiably forget the rye bread.

Must leib ja eestlased


Rukkileib leib on Eesti kgi alustala. Pole vist htegi eestlast, kes kodust kaua eemal olles musta leiba taga ei igatseks. Sageli eldakse, et on kll paremat toitu ja paremat kliimat, aga ilma musta leivata toit lihtsalt ei ole tielik. Sajandeid on must leib eestlaste thtsaimaks toiduaineks olnud. See ei ole juhuslik kokkusattumus, et kiki teisi toite, vlja arvatud pudrud, nimetatakse leivakrvaseks. Must leib lisandus enamuse toitude juurde. Leiva roll muutus nii thtsaks, et selle puudumine laualt (kuigi muu toit vis seal olla) oli rmise vaesuse ja hda tunnuseks. Ajapikku muutus leib kogu toidu ja sissetuleku smboliks. Leiva thtsust meie esivanemate elus illustreerib fakt, et leivale omistati leloomulikke omadusi ja seda kasutati isegi nidumisel. Leivaga on seotud ka mitmeid uskumusi. Leiva le ei tohtinud nuriseda, olgu see siis aganane vi, nagu hilisemal ajal, kpsetatud peenjahust. Balti riikide kaugemas ajaloos oli kige tuntuim teravili oder. Algselt kasutati odrajahu odrakakkude kpsetamiseks, hiljem tehti odraleiba. Rukis asendas odra suhteliselt hiljuti, kige tenolisemalt teise aastatuhande alguses, mil rukkikasvatus hakkas arenema. Sellest ajast alates on eesti leib olnud must leib rukkileib. Selgus,

et rukis on kohalikus kliimas kige vastupidavam ja stabiilsem teravili, mistttu rukkikasvatus hakkas 11. sajandist edasi kasvama. Ei ole ime, et jrgnevate sajandite jooksul sai rukkist Eestis olulisim teravili ja peamine leivavili. Rukist kasvatati kodustel pldudel, nisu toodi sisse Venemaalt, Ukrainast ja Kasahstanist. Enamuse soome-ugri ja slaavi rahvaste keeltes on snal leib hised juured. Keeleteadlased arvavad, et eesti sna leib, soome leip, karjala leib, vepsa leib, liivi lba javodja leip on laen germaani keeltest. Sama sna on judnud ka slaavi keeltesse (vene xe, poola chleb). Leedu kliepas ja Lti klaips arvatakse kuuluvat samasse grupi. Isegi baltisaksa vljend leivaptsi kohta on Klaipe (Brotlaib). Rukkileib on toitnud eestlasi 10 sajandit, seega on ta teliselt ra teeninud meie rahvusliku toidu nimetuse. Siiski unustame me oma sageli oma rahvustoidust rkides ebaiglaselt rukkileiva.