“A long time ago they used to have Hutterian colonies of 400 people and they were self-sufficient. Now we are only 130 and it still works for us. Hutterites originate from Austria and Southern Germany. The Austrian/German dialect we speak is more High German now.
People always ask, how you tell if someone is married or single. Well, you can tell the difference between married people by the things they do and the way they act, just like everyone else. The men start wearing a beard because it is a spiritual significance. After baptism, they are not allowed to shave, once you have it you keep it. For women, the dress code and hair code are all pertaining to a spiritual thing. By living together we carry one another’s burdens and take care of each other, we care for everyone from the cradle to the grave. Babies, handicaps and older people, there is never anyone sent to an old folks home, we take care of them.
It goes like this…up to age 3 the mothers provide care for the children; from 3 to 6 there is kindergarten. From 6 to 15 kids are in school, then at 15, they are an adult. Then around 20 years old, they are baptized. Marriage never precedes baptism because it’s the main step in life; it is a seven-week ordeal. Then there is marriage; that is a one-week celebration. Then when someone dies, it is a three-day celebration of that person’s life. We sit around the dead person for three days and just reminisce and celebrate their life, that’s the beginning of healing. When I lost my sister, I realized that talking about her, helped me heal.”