środa, 5 grudnia 2012

The Dutch Amish

Few months ago, while visiting Floriade, we saw with Maurice a woman, who caught our attention. She was dressed very modest, old-fashiond, just like an Amish! Maus told me than, that there are still mennonite societies living in the Netherlands, though he has never seen one. The other day at school someone mentioned a town Staphorst. It apears that most of the citizens of that town are orthodox Calvinists. About 80% of them doesn't have a TV at their house, women are wearing traditional cloths (even if one decides to dress more modern, she would never wear trousers) and everything is closed on Sunday. Everything except the church of course.

Women of Staphorst in their traditional cloths. Source
While Holland seems to be a very open and liberal country, in Staphorst nobody talks about abortion, euthanasia or gay marriage. It's even forbidden to swear since few years! The town has the highest birth rate in the whole Netherlands and was classified by WHO as... a risk area. The only one in Europe! That happened because more less 20% of citizens was never vaccinated and in 1971 came a polio epidemic and 39  people got sick. 

Children wearing traditional cloths. Source
I asked Maurice if we could go there one day. He was not very enthusiastic. He said there's nothing interesting to do or see there and he doesn't feel like driving so far just to see some people wearing old-fashioned cloths. After all they are just people, so taking pictures of them like they were some kind of animals in a zoo seems inapropriate. Neverthless I thought it's worth to mention about this unusual place in a middle of modern and progressive Holland. About the town, where the time seems to stand still. 

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