Walking among the booths I heard conversations in various languages including: the Ukraine, First Nations, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico, Nigeria and the Philippines. And English united us all. Not as miraculous as Pentecost, where everybody heard their own tongue when the apostles were speaking, nevertheless mingling and sharing with different cultures resonates ‘peace on earth’ at least in our little corner. This must be how God wants the whole world to live.
Mary Lynn Moffat, Coordinator of Portage Community Revitalization Corporation (PCRC) was pleased with the turn out: “It is wonderful to showcase the different cultures and learn about the traditions, customs and values they all bring to our community.”
We had the rare opportunity to feast on a variety of delicious dishes, while watching lively performances: choirs, duets, jigs and a powwow. One of the selections our High School Choir sang was ‘Points of Light’:
…One by one, from the mountain to the sea,
Points of light are calling out to you and me.
If you see what’s wrong and you try to make it right,
You will be a point of light.
As I sat down with a mountain of ethnic foods, my taste buds were doing a celebratory jig of their own. There were perogies from the Ukraine, biryani from Pakistan, arroz con pollo from Panama, spiced lamb, rice, pork, bannock, tacos, Jamaican sweet potato pudding and lots more. Our contribution was Zucker Honkelich (sugar pie), Schuttn Honkelich (cottage cheese pie) and fresh buns with jam.
This experience caused me to reflect on how the Hutterites fit into this cultural collage. With our rich history, unique language and community of goods lifestyle, we’re a distinctive addition, blending with and contributing to the whole. Furthermore, we have a lot to be thankful for: freedom of religion, Hutterites serve on various committees, we’re invited to perform at events such as Citizenship Ceremonies and our work is published in newspapers. We are indeed reaping the benefits of what our forefathers fought for – a people serving God as taught in the New Testament.