A new federal law that forbids Mennonites from saying ‘oba‘ has come under fierce opposition from the Canadian Mennonite community.
“Oba, this law makes just no sense,” said Pastor Art Harms of Leamington, Ontario. “Oba isn’t harming anyone, so I don’t know why we can’t keep on saying it yet.”
The law is seen by Mennonites as yet another attempt to ‘Canadianize’ the population and force them to conform to society.
“First they made us go to public schools, then they forced us to join the army, and now they’re trying to take ‘oba‘ from us,” said Harms. “‘Oba‘ is all we have. We need ‘oba.'”
A government spokesperson said they much preferred if Mennonites incorporated the word ‘eh’ into conversations where ‘oba’ once stood.
“We know it’s not a perfect match,” said government rep Donna McLelland. “But it’ll have to do. From now on if Mennonites are caught saying ‘oba’ they could face up to six years in a federal penitentiary.”
Upon hearing he could face jail time, Pastor Harms was furious and said, “Oba, that would be just no good yet,” and was promptly arrested.
The legislation also bans the overuse of the words ‘once’,’yet’, and ‘such.’
(photo credit: David J./cc/modified)