Monday, April 19, 2010

Set Apart

Phil and I were driving past a local park the other day, and we happened upon this game of slow pitch softball, so we stopped to watch a while. Can you see how this is not quite your normal game? There were male and female players, but the women were all wearing long dresses and head coverings. What do we have here? These are Beachy Amish Mennonites. Being a Mennonite myself, though not from a conservative branch, I have many stories of the Amish and Mennonites. First there were Mennonites. But in 1693, a Mennonite named Jakob Ammann believed that they were getting entirely too permissive and modern. He broke away from the Mennonites, formed the Amish, which is named after him, and stopped time in it's tracks. This was the extremly short version. Today there are way over a dozen types of Amish churches. And yes, there are even Amish Mennonites! But don't bother your head with that right now. Our Beachy Amish ball players are the least conservative of the Amish, as they drive cars and use electricity. Most had driven to the game in their cars. But I must say that the women seem to have gotten the worse part of this deal, because the men's clothes are comfortable and appear to be modern, but the poor women!! Try running the bases in a long dress in the heat! Oh, well, at least they don't have to go home and churn butter!

"You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own." Lev. 20:26


Beverly said...

I love it. When David was in high school, or probably junior high, playing basketball, they played Sarasota Christian School, which has a large number of Mennonites as students.

At one of the basketball games, the boys were watching the girls play, and the SCS girls wore culottes as their uniform.

I noticed that the boys were snickering at them, and later when I spoke to David about it, he said, "Oh, mom, we thought they were cool." The boys were wishing that their shorts were longer, more like the girls' uniforms.

Bird Girl said...

You know - that is exactly what I've always thought. The women do seem to get the raw deal here. Funny how strict some of these sects can be and then they can practice rumspringa! I watched a show about that and it was a terrifying thing to see that kids who are so over protected - are then cut loose! Yikes!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Gosh---I guess those girls are used to wearing those dresses and hats, but it just doesn't seem fair (since the boys were dressed normally. Did you feel like the women/girls were treated differently from the men/boys????

I have always been interested in the Amish ---and am glad to learn more about them from you.. I hope you will do several posts about the Amish/Mennonites. SO interesting...

Thanks for sharing this, Ginny.

Sandra said...

I am so glad you got these photos. i have never seen anything like it before. we have a very large mennoinite church here, but it is like yours. there are many that dress like these ladies, but they all wear dark colors, these at least have lighter colors. I would not like to play ball dressed like that. we have several that eat at the same resturant we like and have seen them many times. i think they are Amish, they have long beards and all dressed in black and the women have long black dresses with black stockings and the white on their heads. i wondered why they were driving cars but dressed like that. now i know.

Lucy said...

My favorite place to go in Lancaster County. I have fastasies about leaving this life of mine and 'converting' to the Amish life. I love those people. Well...I don't really know them but you know what I mean. I wonder if I could still blog as an Amish person. Because that would make a huge difference.

BTW...still don't have all my people back. I'll give it a couple of more days and then I'll have to do some serious remembering and searching. (Dumb Blogger) :)

From the Kitchen said...

Those ladies look cool and capable despite the dresses. I do think that women get the short end (or maybe the long end) of the "stick" in many cultures as far as dressing. On the hottest day, we can go into our favorite arabic restaurant and find the men in cool clothing and the women swathed in layers of fabric. But, it's not for me to judge them so I just remember to be thankful that no matter how I dress, God loves me!

And, I love the photos of the women and the lilac and...all.


DawnTreader said...

Okay... Too permissive and modern in 1693, I can't help trying to picture what that might have been like...?

Stephanie V said...

Good photos and an interesting post. I enjoy learning more about the Mennonites from you.
Women always have to do things the hard way, don't they? The other day I was reading about the women who were early settlers here. The young women would trek up the mountain for skiing and hiking in their long skirts.

Kilauea Poetry said...

They probabaly have something against poka dots too I'd imagine lol..I had to look up rumspringa, but I figure it all hinges on ones upbringing? Interesting though. I like that Ginny.."least they don't have to go home and churn butter"! Classic. The men do seem more relaxed..maybe some perverse delight in looking at the women dressed like that!! ha ha. Great capture of photos and post!

From the Kitchen said...

"Re/Pa" = Refrigerator/Pantry. I made that up to indicate the recipes I put together with whatever is on hand. It's fun to do. Sometimes what I come up with is delicious, sometimes o.k. and sometimes not so good. We like parmesan a lot.

Just a little private update on Jilly. She just finished her heart cathertization and did really well (although her mom reported that Jilly is a little mad about it all). Tomorrow is her surgery. Those prayers are working!


hip chick said...

I cannot imagine running in those dresses! But, at least they were allowed to play.

George said...

I found this to be very interesting. I think those women deserve a lot of credit for even playing in those clothes.

SquirrelQueen said...

As I scrolled through your photos I was trying to imagine what it would be like to run in those skirts.

I really enjoy learning more about the Mennonites and Amish societies.

I took the weekend off to catch up with things around the house and in the yard. I had planned to post Monday night but when I sat down to the computer I discovered my internet connection was down. My time off turned out to be longer than planned.

Annie said...

I can't believe I missed this the first time around, Ginny. It must have been during a time last month when I was being really lazy about visiting people.

Isn't it ironic that they are the most modern group but the women don't dress the part. I would have never guessed.

Thanks so much for linking your June 2nd post to this one. I'm glad I didn't miss it.