Okay, its Friday so it's time to explore the world's largest repository of video clips in search of anything Plain. I've unearthed some interesting stuff today that I'd like to share so let's get right to it:
MENNONITES IN BELIZE: I LOVED this clip. If you are interested in Amish and Mennonite culture, this video is worth taking 4 minutes to watch. I've read a lot about the Mennonite settlements in Central and South America, but the picture one develops in their mind versus reality is often different. I had envisioned Mennonites with machetes hacking their way through the jungle, but this rare footage from Belize shows a much more pastoral setting. The scrubby landscape almost resembles the Amish community near Beeville, Texas and this video clip really lends a rhythm to the quiet but industrious existence there. I love the insight into the school.
Mennonites in Bolivia: If you want to delve a bit deeper, this is a longer documentary about the Mennonites in Bolivia. The Mennonite community there is older and larger, so there's a bit more material to work with.
HOLMES COUNTY SINGING:
Every year an auction and festivities take place in Mount Hope, Ohio for the purpose of raising money for Amish folks in need of kidney care or transplant. The event has grown into an all-day affair of breakfast, quilt auctions, and entertainment for a great cause. The one thing that really strikes me about the Mount Hope area is that the population is majority Amish, so it's one of the few places where someone like me can go and be in the minority among the Amish. This is really empowering for the Amish who are much more visible and vocal there than in other areas. For instance, these young Amish ladies are singing beautiful music as part of the auction festivities and if you notice the audience, it is majority Amish. Click here to watch and listen to these talented young Amish ladies singing "When We All Get to Heaven." The sound is a classic blend of Amish a cappella and gospel.
This next clip from the kidney fund-raiser caught my interest. Musical instruments are typically taboo among the Amish. When it comes to church rules and technology there are very few blanket statements one can make about the Amish. There are almost always exceptions, but musical instruments remain rare in the church. While I have heard of some young Amish men playing harmonicas, what makes this scene so unusual - to my eye - is the young Amish women playing instruments in such a public setting,so confidently. One of them is playing a guitar, another a keyboard, and the other it looks like an accordion of some sort? Of course, another possibility is that they aren't Amish at all, rather an evangelical split-off group where instruments might be more embraced. Perhaps one of our readers knows who these ladies are?