Could you tell me a little about Mennonite culture?

There are many different groups within the North American Mennonite Church and they have a variety of customs. However, there are some common threads. Many Mennonite customs center around family and church life. When we celebrate special times of the year, family is usually involved.

Mennonites have been known to be good cooks, so food also plays an important part in our celebrations. In the past, Mennonite cooking had a decidedly German or Russian flavor, with many Mennonites being of German, Swiss or Dutch descent. As the Mennonite church continues to grow to include people of many ethnic backgrounds, what was once a typical Mennonite potluck now includes food from many different countries.

Women used to wear coverings or prayer veils on their heads all the time and clothing was very simple. However, today only the most conservative Mennonites do this; most Mennonites would look like anyone else you would meet on the street.

Mennonites listen to and participate in making music in many different styles. However, the Mennonite church is best known for its four-part a cappella singing.

Mennonites participate in the same leisure time activities as other North Americans. Some Mennonites may choose not to attend movies, or not to have television in their homes because of the violence that is shown. Others don’t allow dancing. Smoking and drinking are generally not practiced because of the belief that one’s body is God’s temple. Practices differ widely from community to community.