In Moldova, it is traditional to bake a knotted bread roll an hang it on the wall during high and low holidays. This roll hangs on the wall during St. Ion's Day, the name day of all people named after St. Ion (and just about everyone in Moldova is named after a Saint). This is a (in this case) Romanian Orthodox tradition. Each person gets a name day in addition to their birthday (in some cases two names days, for example there are two Saints days for Mary or Maria).
Today, Pasha and Ana's sister, Maria comes to visit on the name day of Pasha's son who passed away. Throughout the evening the three sisters sing, eat, drink and remember the past. Though a happy event, it is tinged with sadness as the sisters remember the family members they have lost.
Pasha, Ana and Maria are part of the dying generation of formerly deported people from Moldova under the Stalinist regime. In 1951 they were forced from their home to Kazakhstan, where they stayed for 5 years. After returning to Moldova they had to rebuild their shattered lives from nothing.