Plautdietsch word of the day: twei-staup

Plautdietsch word of the day: twei-staup

Definition: two step, as in the dance.

The Mennonite Enquirer has just learned that Mennonites are now being allowed to dance without fear of being banished from the community. Many thought it would never happen. Effective July 1st, Mennonites will be able to publicly slow dance, tango, foxtrot, two step, polka or twist the night away without being reprimanded by the Gemeinde.

After much research, experts have concluded that drinking does not lead to dancing.   In fact, you have less time to engage in intoxicating beverages if you are on the dance floor. There is also no conclusive evidence that dancing leads to more romantic nocturnal activities (much to the disappointment of some Mennonites).

There are however conditions to the dancing bylaw being repealed. Gemeinde leaders have stated that “dirty dancing” will not be tolerated. So to all the Henrys, Johns, Peters, Erdmans and the like,.. you may want to reconsider any “Patrick Swayze” moves while heating up your dance shoes.

Mrs Corny Plett has already dug out some of her old dance LPs which have been hidden in storage for many years.

The following are Mennonite guidelines in the new age of dance: Couples should allow no more than ½ full body contact during waltzes. Kissing and other displays of intimacy while dancing are also seriously discouraged. This restriction has brought about the ire of many. Mrs. Peter Zuderman says, “you mean after waiting all these years, we’re not allowed a little French kissing while dancing?! I think that's discrimination!” Mrs. John Peters however, is more in agreement with the suggestion, saying, “John can have his usual fun any old time. But when we’re on the dance floor, we should focus on dancing”.

It appears that cultural barriers are also being broken down with the repeal of the self imposed legalism. The Chjanls Rampel-shu says, “it was never fair that only Chortitzer couples were allowed to go dancing and us Sommerfelders had to be content with sipping yerba on the lawn swing”!

Here are the opinions from some of the local residents:

Mary Sawatzky says, “It’s exciting actually. The only dance I ever knew was the Mennonite two step". Some called it the pregnancy polka”. When asked about this obscure dance, Mrs. Sawatsky replied with a smile, “lots of us girls knew it. Step one was, get married and step two was, get pregnant. Or, maybe it was the other way around.?.?  Some of us got the two steps mixed up.  I’m actually looking forward to learning Chortitzer Tango. Erdman is a very virile man and I can hardly wait to see what he does with me”.   And then there’s Betty Thiessen who says, “as long as I get to lead, things will be just fine. Peter couldn’t dance his way out of the back barn door if I let him lead. You gotta show men how things are done”, Betty adds with a smile.

 And with that, here are the Mennonite Enquirer exclusive Chortitzer dance moves.


Have fun with the special dance partner in your life with this totally funny Mennonite Birthday card. Click on image below to find the answer to that age old question: Did drinking lead to dancing?

Would you like to learn more Plautdietsch? The ultimate low German dictionary ever published is still available.   This amazing dictionary is the most complete reference of a language that was only used verbally for almost 500 years. Professor Jack Thiessen undertook the immense project of putting together a definitive and comprehensive dictionary to preserve this unique language. It makes a great gift for the younger generation who would like to learn and understand the spoken low German language of their parents and grandparents.   It also makes a great gift for those who have forgotten many of the unique words and Plautdietsch phrases that have been used by Mennonites in the past 5 centuries. Order your copy and enjoy Plautdietsch like never before!

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