It happened often enough in grade school. My classmates would talk about where their families lived before they came to Canada. They would say things like, "Fm half Norwegian and half Irish," then ask, "What are you?" I would say, "I'm... Mennonite. We're not really from a country." In grade eight, my social studies teacher corrected the detailed family tree I had submitted: how could I use the German words Orna and Opa for my grandparents if their families came from Russia?In Saskatoon, I was near many relations as well as the homesteads of my dad's family. It helped me to connect to my roots, but I'm still not from anywhere. I'm not from Alberta or Canada. I like to say that I'm from Saskatoon, but I'm not. I live in Toronto, and I love the city, but Tm not from here. I am Mennonite, in culture and in faith.Still in the excitement of newfound belonging, I learn that Mennonite-theculture has become taboo. The fear is that if we talk about "Mennonite" names and food, we will exclude people who are from other ethnic backgrounds. That concern is fair. But it is one thing to welcome people of different backgrounds into our communities; it is another to shy away from our own heritage.
34 Canadian Mennonite February
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