I like this photo for a few reasons; it makes me happy to look at it, it shows a group of Hutterites having a lot of fun, and it works as a powerful symbol for me. Thanks to Kelly Hofer at Flickr for sharing. When Hutterites are out and about, they may be shy, as they speak a German dialect at home, so English is a second language for them. They may be shy because they live in a very different society from the rest of us and may not be comfortable relating casually with strangers. It is easy to get the impression that they are a dour people. I like the picture because it shows that they can be fun loving folks, and helps to dispel misconceptions or stereotypes. The picture works for me as a symbol of the Hutterites pulling against the culture, and joyful in the struggle. Remember, these are people who do not earn private incomes, aside from household items and a few personal possesions, don't own anything privately. They dress differently, eat their meals together and have to put in a purchase requisition, so to speak, when they want to buy anything. They work hard, sing a lot and don't have modern electronic entertainment. And yet, from what little I know, they are pretty happy! There are about 500 hutterite communities in North America, about 70 in South Dakota. Not a huge number compared to say, Southern Baptists, and I don't want to idealise or romaticize a people I really know next to nothing about, but it seems that they have something going for them. They have found a way to incorporate what is useful from the modern world and yet live in such a way as to preserve their values of peace, sharing and simplicity. And they really know what community means. Impressive accomplishment in my opinion.
e-qua yona, Cherokee for 'big bear' is the only nick name I've ever had, at least one I liked. One of my favorite ever students called me that when I taught for the Eastern Band Cherokee. It is Mato Tanka in Lakota.
I have lived a nomadic life and have enjoyed most of it so far.
Seeking balance with the universe or great mystery is what life oughta be about.