Found an interesting passage in the autobiography of a relative a few minutes ago while shelving some books; the relative is an uncle (or grand uncle, as we call him, my grandmother's brother - one of them - on my dad's side) who is a Buddhist monk named Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. He writes about the house he was born in & receiving his birth name (this was about 80+ years ago in Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, & people who join the order of Buddhist monks receive a new name); from Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G.:
"Two weeks after my birth, when it looked likely I was hearty enough to survive, my father went to visit the chief of a nearby village...There, he told the chief the name he had given his third son: Ekanayaka Mudiyanselage Ukkubanda."
And a couple of paragraphs later, this most interesting bit of info:
"My father built our house himself. It was maybe thirty by forty feet. The roof was made of straw, dried fronds from coconut trees, and scraps of tin. The walls were made of mud, reinforced with strips of bamboo. Along the front and back of the house were open verandas, with walls that were made of mud on the lower half and a wooden lattice on the upper half."
Building your own house must be the ultimate D.I.Y. project. Very interesting, my great grandfather on my dad's side built his own house (come to think of it, this is not so unusual in Sri Lanka, I heard from my mom that her grandfather also built his own house) - maybe this whole D.I.Y. thing is some kind of a family habit (probably not - I am not a big believer in inherited traits, I think most qualities that individuals have come out of their environment, their own time period/as a response to it & their own experiences, but I could be wrong). Regardless of what it all means, it's nice to get some glimpses of the past, & of interesting activities, from family members.