Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 47, Amish Country, Pennsylvania, USA

We are going to explore the scenic Amish countryside of Lancaster County on

a horse & buggy tour instead of a hot air balloon.

OK, guys , while you talk and mingle with the Amish, please remember that they are not actors or spectacles, but ordinary people who choose a different way of life.

The Amish are private people who avoid as much contact with strangers andthe "outside world" as possible for important religious and cultural reasons, so Amit, don't stare, gawk, or otherwise be disrespectful of the Amish.

No photos or videos, please. Most Amish consider posing for photographs to be an unacceptable act of pride and do not allow pictures of themselves.

We decided to patronize an Amish-owned business and spoke to the shopkeepers, who saw that we enuinely were interested in their way of life, so they shared a few interesting things about these gentle people.

The Amish people in America are an old religious sect, direct descendants of the Anabaptists of sixteenth-century Europe.

The first sizeable group of Amish arrived in America around 1730 and settled near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, as a result of William Penn's 'holy experiment' in religious tolerance.

All aspects of Amish life are dictated by a list of written or oral rules,known as Ordnung, which outlines the basics of the Amish faith and helps to define what it means to be Amish.

Amish Dress

Symbolic of their faith, Amish clothing styles encourage humility and separation from the world. The Amish dress in a very simple style, avoiding all but the most basic ornamentation. Clothing is made at home of plain fabrics and is primarily dark in color.

Amish men in general wear straight-cut suits and coats without collars, lapels or pockets. Trousers never have creases or cuffs and are worn withsuspenders. Belts are forbidden, as are sweaters, neckties and gloves.

Men's shirts fasten with traditional buttons in most orders, while suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. Young men are clean shaven prior to marriage, while married men are required to let their beards grow and moustaches are forbidden.

Amish women typically wear solid-color dresses with long sleeves and a full skirt, covered with a cape and an apron.They never cut their hair, and wear it in a braid or bun on the back of the head concealed with a small white cap or black bonnet. Clothing is fastened with straight pins or snaps, stockings are black cotton and shoes are also black.

Amish women are not permitted to wear patterned clothing or jewelry.

Oh, no, I would not be able to live here:-((

The Ordnung of the specific Amish order may dictate matters of dress as explicit as the length of a skirt or the width of a seam!!

Technology & the Amish
The Amish are averse to any technology which they feel weakens the family structure.

Amish Schools & Education

The Amish believe strongly in education, but only provide formal education through the eighth grade and only in their own private schools. Education is also a big part of home life, with farming and homemaking skills considered an important part of an Amish child's upbringing.

Amish Family Life
The family is the most important social unit in the Amish culture. Large families with seven to ten children are common. Chores are clearly divided by sexual role in the Amish home - the man usually works on the farm, while the wife does the washing, cleaning, cooking, and other household chores.

German is spoken in the home, though English is also taught in school.

Amish marry Amish - no intermarriage is allowed, so Prasad we cannot arrange your marriage to that pretty girl you have had your eye on!

The Amish separate themselves from others for a variety of religious reasons, often citing aBible verses in support of their beliefs.
"Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (II Corinthians 6:14)

The numerous Amish and plain communities here give this area a whole different ambience.

These people as a whole are not as materialistic as modern society today. Instead, they adhere to more traditional ways and family values. Their influence is felt throughout the local society.

Did you know that Lancaster County has been called America's quilt capital?

Many Amish quilts are passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms. Here we find hundreds of quilts, wall-hangings, and pillows at many gift and craft shops.

Sometimes the Amish sell quilts and homemade craft items right in their homes.

Nopi and Sita now want to purchase a few quilts.........we dont have that much space may buy one each...

The Amish and Mennonite women of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country have been creating exquisite quilted masterpieces since the mid-1800's (and some believe even earlier). Amish quilts are an expression of frugality. They not only serve a practical, functional purpose, but serve as a form of entertainment as well.

Many times groups of women gather for a quilting bee. The bee is a form of socialization and relaxation for these women. It's a time when they can get together to visit and "catch up" with one another once their household duties have been completed.......sounds like a good old gossip session to me!

From tranquil Amish farms and the clip-clop of horse-drawn buggies to energy-producing windmills and tasty Amish foods, we had plenty of opportunities for a glimpse into the Amish way of life.

I must say the town names seemed a little strange to me....Intercourse, Blue Bull, and Bird in Hand.....where did those come from???

No comments: