Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Religious Segregation in Pennsylvania

As my mother would say, give them an E for effort:

"Meanwhile, Dr. Charles H. Boehm, state superintendent of public instruction, would not go along with the Amish plea to set up classes for the 17 children in an abandoned Honey Brook school building. Boehm said such a proposal would amount to “segregation” and insisted the school, if reopened, must also allow other township children in the classes."

It's always something, isn't it? As a proud Pennsylvania Dutchman, let me just say to my more conservative relatives: now is this going on yet? Don't talk so dumb now once. Ach Dunavetta!

Although this news is from 50 years ago, there are plenty of Pennsylvania-Dutch-first-language-speaking Amish around. I ran into a group of about 8 kids at French Creek State Park in PA three summers ago. They were kind enough to give me their map since they were done riding around the park. Poor kids were wearing flannel and jeans and looked unpleasantly warm.

Notice I didn't use graphics in this post. It would load too slowly on Amish computers.


jape said...

I am looking for a translation of "Ach Dunavetta!" A friend who went to school in PA Dutch country recalls dunavetta being used to refer to a storm or rain.

Your blog is the only place I have found it mentioned.


Michael Caton said...

Dunavetta does in fact mean thunderstorm ("thunderweather"), but depending on your tone it can also be a curse. I feel honored to be the web's go-to resource for Pennsylvanischer Deitsch etymology.

jape said...

Fantastic. Thanks, Michael. It is quite rare that Google returns one single result - but it seems you are indeed the guy.