At the Muwie-Tee'auta

A long time before True Grit...

...before Smokey and the Bandit...

......before American Graffiti…

........and before Menno-Rebel Without a Cause………

muwies,….were verboden!!!

In one particular Mennonite community,… residents kept watch on the theater to see who would be walking in and parting with 50¢, in order to gain entry into the world of western outlaws and adventure seekers beyond the stage performances of Koop & Bua.

A list of the transgressors would be passed on to the Geminde which would result in retribution for indulging in the worldly ways of cinema. Abbott and Costello would have no place in the Mennonite communities. The practice of reporting movie goers was referred to as vekloage.

For Hein and Lein, the admonishment was worth the risk. On a hot August night in Winkler, they strolled hand-in-hand as they looked up at the marquee lights: “Playing Tonight, Dr. Zhivago”.  A dollar for admission, 35¢ for popcorn and 10¢ for a cherry coke (Hein and Lein would share) were all the monetary funds required to gain entry into the forbidden world of cinema.

How was the movie? Hein and Lein could not recount the details as they were too focused on each other. A wedding faspa was served eight months later . Kielke dinners with schmaunt-fat & worscht followed. A ¼ section of farmland in Altona provided a livelihood. Eleven children provided memories. And it all began at the movies. So it turns out, that movies were not such a terrible thing after all ;-)

Vekloage. Definition: to accuse or report.  A common practice of reporting suspicions and possibly unfounded accusation to the ministerial. Incidents were taken up for by the ministerial and suspects could face been ostracized or cast out of the community entirely. Other issues that may warrant harsh discipline may include, dancing, have a "flashy" mode of transportation or playing musical instruments.  Thankfully, many enured the foolish legalisms and were able to carry on a life with their faith intact.



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