Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Review - A Look under the Hutterite Bonnet: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Review - A Look under the Hutterite Bonnet: News

Article excerpt

Teacher Jacob is supervising breakfast, eaten in near-silence after collective prayers. Boys, dressed in black trousers and braces, sit on one side of the room. Girls, in loose-fitting pinafores and bonnets, sit on the other. "I just think it's better that they don't sit together," Jacob says, during How to Get to Heaven with the Hutterites, a one-off BBC Two documentary.

The documentary-makers spent four months filming in a Hutterite colony on the Canadian plains. The Hutterites are an Anabaptist sect who shut themselves off from the outside world. Under enormous skies, they farm crops, pigs and chickens. Acting on Jesus' imperative to love thy neighbour as thyself, they share property, work and income. "We share, for the good of everybody," says minister Zach Waldner. It is a bit like a kibbutz, but with bonnets.

Children attend the colony school but from the age of 10 they couple this with farm work. Whelan, 15, collects eggs in the chicken barn. …

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