Village Among Nations: "Canadian" Mennonites in a Transnational World, 1916-2006

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University of Toronto Press, Dec 6, 2013 - History - 340 pages
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Between the 1920s and the 1940s, 10,000 traditionalist Mennonites emigrated from western Canada to isolated rural sections of Northern Mexico and the Paraguayan Chaco; over the course of the twentieth century, they became increasingly scattered through secondary migrations to East Paraguay, British Honduras, Bolivia, and elsewhere in Latin America. Despite this dispersion, these Canadian-descendant Mennonites, who now number around 250,000, developed a rich transnational culture over the years, resisting allegiance to any one nation and cultivating a strong sense of common peoplehood based on a history of migration, nonviolence, and distinct language and dress.

Village among Nations recuperates a missing chapter of Canadian history: the story of these Mennonites who emigrated from Canada for cultural reasons, but then in later generations “returned” in large numbers for economic and social security. Royden Loewen analyzes a wide variety of texts, by men and women – letters, memoirs, reflections on family debates on land settlement, exchanges with curious outsiders, and deliberations on issues of citizenship. They relate the untold experience of this uniquely transnational, ethno-religious community.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Promises in
Settlers in Mexico
Nostalgia in the Diaspora 1930
East Paraguay and Beyond
New Life in British Honduras
The Return of the Kanadier 1951
Reading
Women Migrants
Conclusion
Notes
Glossary
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Royden Loewen is the Chair in Mennonite Studies and a professor in the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg. He is an award-winning author of a number of books on Mennonites and immigrants in North America.

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