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Authentic Lithuania

Where to find Lithuanian culture in Hingham

Created date

May 5th, 2017
A group of Linden Ponds neighbors who have Lithuanian roots often meet for dinner in one of the community’s private dining rooms.

A group of Linden Ponds neighbors who have Lithuanian roots often meet for dinner in one of the community’s private dining rooms.

Linden Ponds is a diverse community by many measures, with residents from various cultures and ethnicities, and resident-run clubs for people with Irish, Italian, Canadian, German, and Lithuanian roots. 

The Lithuanian Heritage Group currently has about 12 members who meet on a regular basis for dinner in one of Linden Ponds’ private dining rooms. Lorraine Letteney, who cochairs the group along with resident Alma Petrillo, says some members were born in the United States to Lithuanian immigrants, and others were born or grew up in Lithuania. 

“One of the guys came straight from Lithuania, and he tells us stories when we meet for dinner, and we ask him questions,” Lorraine says. “It’s a close-knit group.”

Lorraine says Linden Ponds Executive Director Jim Centola, who is part Lithuanian, has joined the group for dinner on occasion. Often, members will invite their Lithuanian relatives or friends to come for dinner as well. One member sometimes brings a Lithuanian priest who shares interesting stories with the group.

“We also have a couple of guys who love to sing the old Lithuanian songs, which is great,” Lorraine says. 

Homeland help

The Lithuanian group has also done projects to help people in their homeland. In the past, they have gathered valuable stamps and sold them to the Linden Ponds stamp collectors, and then donated the proceeds to a local nun who raises money to send school supplies to Lithuanian children. 

“We’ve helped with money and donations, and Sister Helen came here once for dinner and spoke to us,” Lorraine says.

A few times each year, the group goes to Lithuanian Kitchen, an authentic restaurant in South Boston. They feast on Lithuanian favorites such as kugelis, a potato-filled pie served with bacon bits and sour cream; koldunai, homemade dumplings stuffed with meat; and zrazai, a ground pork roll stuffed with bacon, cheese, and carrots. 

“Everybody buys extra food to bring home,” Lorraine says.

The Lithuanian residents are able to get authentic Lithuanian cuisine even closer to home. Staff member Stephen Slicis, who is the manager of Linden Ponds’ Fireside Restaurant, is Lithuanian and periodically cooks traditional Lithuanian kielbasa for the group’s private dinners. 

“We really enjoy getting together,” Lorraine says.