Mennonite Beer and Dancing


Folklorama is an event in Winnipeg where you will come to learn that there are basically four parts to a culture - music, food, alcohol and dancing. There could be a little more to culture then that, but since I have now been indoctrinated into Folklorama-ism, that is what I have now come to believe.

The last couple of days I have been attending with Nicky and then with Owen and Hannah last night. It is a great festival where countries or cultures put on a show in various pavilions around Winnipeg. Each evening, you could go to 3 different pavilions and take in their culture for an hour.
If I were to label myself a specific culture, I would call myself a Mennonite - of course my Dad would say that Mennonite is "not a culture, it is a denomination." Anyway, in the Mennonite "culture" we have great music, the best food (hello wareneki, sausage and schmaunt fat or roll kuchen and watermelon...mmmm...), but we have no alcohol or dancing - both lead to sex, which is the ultimate sin. When I watched the Brazilians and the Africans dancing or the celtic river dancers I began to wish that I had grown up with dancing. My kids were right into the dancing and just eating it up, and they do some things that could be mistaken for dancing, but the other day we were watching a dance lesson on TV and my kids were trying to do it. I got up to join them and Ben said, "Daa-aad, you don't need to practice, you already are a good dancer." I realized at that point that my kids have no idea what good dancing is, or maybe even what dancing is! My awkward, skinny, white boy, mennonite, almost on the beat or in the groove joint creaking movements have now been described as "good dancing!" I would love to move to the music naturally, but I have to focus on listening to it and I am a very poor multi-tasker so I can't listen and move at the same time! I can't even clap when I'm singing or I lose my place in the lyrics. Good dancer, indeed!
I guess I wish that I had learned or been shown how to dance properly, it seems like a real natural expression of what the music is doing in people, but for me it looks like I've swallowed something I shouldn't have and can't figure out which end it should come out. I wish I could express what music does in me in that way, I think it would be a cool way to worship God, but it probably will never happen for me. Is it the same for any other mennonites out there?
I will tackle the alcohol issue another time, my brain is tired from trying to type and think at the same time.


L.A.Z. said...

Did you go to the Ireland pavilion on Archibald? I was there last year, absolutely phenomenal show!

roverT said...

Yes! It was very good. Owen and Hannah were enthralled by the dancers. In fact, Owen (2 yr old) was praying that night and said, "...thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Ben, Hannah, the goils." meaning the dancing girls. They were amazingly talented!

Anonymous said...

It's never too late to learn!!! MOM

the clean slate said...

hey - does your ikky shuffle count as's called a touchdown dance isn't it?

ack - rugby players don't dance when we score...silly football players.

roverT said...

I know that my Icky shuffle was really popular at Camp Evergreen...but I also know that it was not "good" in terms of dance moves.

Tiffany said...

Yay Mennonite food! You're not kidding about that. My Grandma makes the best cottage cheese perogies EVER! You also forgot to mention summer borscht. mmmm