Marcela Enns, also known as Dietsche Mejal, is a Youtuber who lives in the Mennonite community of Chihuahua, Mexico. She creates content about Mennonites, highlighting the little things that make them unique, also sharing educational content and of course, recipes of Mennonite food. In 2013 she shared her first video on Instagram and it grew from there. Her content is inspired by stories told at family gatherings by her parents and relatives. You can visit her YouTube channel here, and her Instagram here.
1. What are some differences you’ve noticed between Mennonites in Mexico and Canada?
The few -real- Canadian Mennonites I know are really nice, down to earth people. I feel like they’re more open minded and less competitive as the mennonites here in Mexico, and they also stare less at you.
2. I find your videos very amusing, but how do you react to people who don’t appreciate the ‘spotting’?
Thank you! It’s very interesting, because the people I thought could feel offended or bothered by my videos are actually the ones I’ve gotten the most support from. I still get messages often, where I’m told I should be doing something more useful with my time but little do they know it doesn’t take much time out of my day to make them. Plus I work all the time, so a little fun isn’t to much to ask for, right?
3. What first inspired you to create a Plautdietsch YouTube/Instagram channel?
My sister Veronica and I just had this idea of a video we should make. We were sitting in the kitchen, after baking fresh “brootjes” listening to “Ojitos Verdes” by Las Hermanas Calle, (one of my moms favorite song from when she was listening to music secretly in her ‘sommastow” as a teen), “knacking some zut” and drinking cola. We were just in a mood to be silly. People seemed to love the video but after I had forgotten about my instagram account for a while. I started to make short videos about how mennonites do certain things. People really thought I was making fun of mennonites but my intention was to highlight/exaggerate the things we do and might not even notice we do them until they’re pointed out. Apparently some mennonites don’t understand satire very well. Later I decided to open a Youtube channel so I could share longer videos. I also have a YT channel in Spanish, where I share more educational stuff, since in Mexico there are a lot of misconceptions of mennonites. We all live in the boonies, making cookies and cheese all day, to later go to the city to sell our produce at the stop lights. And of course, we don’t know what the internet is.
4. Do you have any relatives in Manitoba that you know of?
I’m sure I do! After doing a few DNA tests I feel like I have relatives all over the world. Mennonites have conquered the world. How could we not, after having on average of 15 kids in each family? I have a lot of cousins I’ve never met, since my mom was the youngest in her family, by the time I was born a lot of cousins were married and living in different countries, so I haven’t met them all. Manitoba is definitely on the list of where some cousins moved to.
5. How often do you wear “traditional” Mennonite clothing?
I only wear traditional clothing for my videos or events I’m invited to where I’m asked to wear traditional attire, but I have a whole collection of beautiful traditional dresses. I go to “Das Altenheim Laden” which is a local thrift shop and mostly traditional attire is sold there. I see less and less of the dresses with pleats and floral patterns because they’re not worn as much anymore around here, not even by traditional mennonites. I see them as works of art. Theres so much detail in every dress, and made so careful with perfection. You see the love that goes into making each dress.