Posted by: nazli | August 14, 2006

weekends wandering … the Amish

We went on an Amish village tour. It consisted of groups of foreigners, notably a loud German gal and her quieter boyfriend, Americans, Latin Americans, and of-course us – international citizens of the world 😉

The Amish culture was born in Europe as a reulst of Jacob Amman breaking away from the Mennonites; he felt they did not adhere to their rules strictly enough. There is much to know about this static community within kinetic United States.

The tour guide took us around a typical Amish house: the front room that is used for prayer services which are held every other Sundays is furnished with a few rows of wooden benches . Then we went into the kitchen. The first thing that caught my eye was a mixer since I had heard the Amish do not use electricity … mmmhh

According to the guide, most Amish do not use electricity because the don’t want to be connected with the world. However they can buy convenience like ovens, washing machines and mixers – but instead of running it on electricity, they can use natural gas … how many of you think electricity is not natural?

They make their own clothes using sewing machines – the German gal inquired: “did they bring their sewing machines from Europe, this machine is a Singer?” The American woman countered, “you can buy sewing machines in America!”

The women wear outfits that are held together with pins. Married men have beards because they don’t wear rings – their word in front of God is enough. The girls have a lovely “hope chest” in which they collect household items for their future homes.

The Amish do not have anything in their homes for which there is no purpose … so no wall paintings. However, the necessary items can be colourful and ornate, so e.g. a scissor holder is sewn with colourful patches … I suppose fashion houses would probably classify scissor holders necessary items too

They don’t have pictures taken as that is seen as a graven image, which is not permissible. The Amish hang their clothes to dry so the Italian lady asked, “what happens when it is raining?”… seriously

posted by Dr. Nazli @ Saturday, August 12, 2006

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