A Travellerspoint blog

June 10th

Hutterite Colony

21 °C

Today I finished up work a little earlier then normal and showered and shaved. Phil picked me up at around 6pm and we headed off to a hutterite colony to celebrate a day of chivalry. It is just one of the five days celebrating a hutterite wedding. Hutterites are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. We arrived at 6:30pm and were seated facing each other along one of the long bench seats and tables in the communal dining room. About 150 to 200 people turned out for the evening. The bride and groom to be, sat at the head table with the minister, ministers assistant and several others including the bride’s sister. After the bride and groom were seated several of the men and women sang a song in German for them. Once the song ended the minister said a prayer in German and the food was brought out dish by dish, platter by platter. Each dish/platter that was brought out was divided between 4 people. First we had marinated prawns, and a dish of salad which had walnuts in it. Then the women brought out a pot of wonton soup. Then came a platter with stuffed mushrooms, and dim sum. Then out came a platter containing a whole chicken, carrots, and other veggies. Then we had cake for dessert, all the while we supped on our rhubarb wine which is about 30% alcohol. Most of the food and drink were made on and at the colony and most of it was prepared that morning. After reading my fortune cookie paper and eating the cookie, we headed to our host’s place. I asked our host “When the men get married they grow a beard, what do the women get”, to which he responded, “They get a double chin”. Their homes are basically back to back units set in blocks and are pretty much all identical inside. There are no pictures on the walls and they do not have photographs as they believe it goes against the commandment of having graven images. We sat and chatted for about an hour and had a can of Bud whilst awaiting the visit of the wedding party. Finally they arrived and in raced the brides sister who sat right across from me and said “hey good looking, what you got cooking?” Needless to say… I was tongue tied and twisted! Everyone burst into laughter and every response that came to mind didn’t seem utterable considering we were sitting in a hutterite house. I certainly didn’t expect a comment like that from any of the seemingly reserved hutterite ladies. I took my glass of salute from her and wished the couple a good marriage and sat back down. She offered another glass of the concoction, and I agreed to half a glass to which her response was “your not half a man, you’re a full man” and poured me another full glass. Still staggering from her last comment I downed the glass and by the time I had thought of a suitable response they had already left. We then went for a walk and checked out their ducks, milking parlor and a few other odds and ends before heading back to the communal dining room. We sat down at our seats and began to make an indent into the bowls of chips and dip before us. Before long they began a German song of which the preacher read the line and then the gathered people sang the line and so on. This particular song was very long with about 15 verses. Then the ladies brought out yet another platter with lots of different kinds of berries and another dip. We had hardly finished this when yet another platter came out with pickled eggs, ham, bread and yes you guessed it, yet another dip. By this stage I was stuffed and couldn’t eat any more. And to top it all off our hosts kept commenting that if I wanted to join the commune the bride’s sister was obviously very interested considering the smiles she kept sending my way. Finally at 11pm we hit the road for a late nights rest.

Posted by classique 10:28 Archived in Canada Tagged round_the_world

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