Hola my fabulous bloggers!!!
Coming straight to the point, this past Saturday I went on a day trip to St. Jacobs. If you live in Ontario, you must be familiar with the Waterloo region. St. Jacobs is located just north of Waterloo and is a very popular location for tourism. And those of you who didn’t know, well now you do. The moment I entered the village, I was boggled with what my eyes saw. People were dressed traditionally, there were horse and buggy rides (yes, they rent vans with drivers when travelling to urban areas), kids were playing barefoot at their school and majority of the houses had green roofs. In this post, I am going to quote what my local tour guide told me about their heritage so if you know more than what I do or find whatever I have discussed is incomplete information, please spare me the rod. My only goal is to entertain and acquaint you all with their legacy which I found to be very alluring.
Historically, there are two basic strains of Mennonites in Canada: the Swiss-South German Mennonites came via Pennsylvania, and the Dutch-North German Mennonites came via Russia (Ukraine). Mennonites listen to and engage in making music in many different styles, best known for four-part a cappella singing. Some Mennonites may choose not to attend movies, or not to have television in their homes. Others don’t allow dancing. Smoking and drinking is not allowed because of the belief that one’s body is God’s temple. Bible reading and singing is usually in German. The semi-traditionalist groups tend to use English.
Mennonites hold marriage to be sacred and lifelong commitment between one man and one woman. Hence, divorce is greatly discouraged except in case of spousal abuse. Marrying outside the Mennonite faith is forbidden largely and it usually leads to people being cut off from the church, community and even one’s own family. Their weddings always take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at the house of the bride, not the church. It isn’t until a man gets married that he will stop shaving his beard and allow it to grow out, with beards being a mark of male having become a man. However, after getting married, they shave their mustaches and that’s how you would know if a Mennonite man is taken or single. In their weddings, which typically last about four hours, the bride and groom do not kiss or exchange rings, like in traditional Western style weddings. Last but not the least, when the guests are given popcorns at the wedding, that gesture is a hint for them to start leaving. Women wear long dresses, and traditional women keep their hair tied back or covered by a small white prayer cap.
I hope you enjoyed reading this little piece of info as much I enjoyed learning about it. The Mennonite community really fascinates me. So simple (hearty food, nothing fancy, all prepared at home, by hand, using recipes handed down through the generations) with high intelligence and driven by faith in God. Some of their heirloom seeds are simply amazing to grow. I admire them all, I learnt so much about them in just one day. They can survive under any conditions more than anyone else. This short getaway was such a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and I thoroughly enjoyed their well cared farmsteads. I hope to meet you guys soon with another exciting post. I have so many ideas running in my mind (knock on the wood) unlike past month LOL so stay tuned.
Spread love, peace and happiness!!