Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Can I Get A Witness?

Beeps and I live in Chester County, PA not far from the Amish communities in neighboring Lancaster county. You'd think I'd know a little bit about them but I don't. I know they grow beards and are very plain. I also know that they drive around in buggies, speak German and don't like their pictures taken. They farm, the raise barns, drink lemonade and don't wear deodorant (trust me on this one). Basically all I know is what I learned from watching Amish in The City (a GREAT short lived reality show on UPN) and Witness with Harrison Ford and Lucas Haas.

But It's not like I don't see Amish people on a regular basis. They are often doing construction on houses in town (not long ago the house next to my work was having its roof replaced and there was an Amish couple up there scraping off the old shingles. No lie, the lady was in full-on black dress!), they sell fresh veggies, fruits and baked goods at the farmers market here in town on Saturdays, plus when we drive to the Lancaster outlets, there's sure to be a slow buggie holding up traffic. Don't get me wrong. It's not like I try NOT to know anything about them. They're quite secretive. Kinda like the Free Masons or something. Plus, according to Witness they don't like "The English." So here's a bit of info I learned by doing a quick Google search.

What's the deal with the Amish people?

The Amish people trace their heritage back hundreds of years. They still live and work much as their forefathers did. Their families and their farms are their top priorities, second only to God

Why do they hate on us city folk?
The Amish are very devout in their faith. They believe in the literal interpretation and application of Scripture as the Word of God. They take seriously the Biblical commands to separate themselves from the things of the world. They believe worldliness can keep them from being close to God, and can introduce influences that could be destructive to their communities and to their way of life.

What's the deal with electricity?
They do not permit electricity or telephones in their homes. By restricting access to television, radio, and telephones, the Amish are better able to keep the modern world from intruding into their home life.

How many Amish peeps are out there?

Today there are over 25 different Amish, Mennonite, and Brethren church groups in Lancaster County, all holding to slightly different traditions and their own interpretations of the Bible. The more traditional groups are called 'old order'.
Since 1960, the Amish population in Lancaster County has almost tripled.

Why don't they drive cars?

The old order groups do not own or oper
ate automobiles, believing that cars would provide easier access to the ways of the world. You will often see their horses and buggies.

What's in it for them?
Their separation from the rest of society actually helps to strengthen their community.
The Amish have a strong sense of community spirit, and often come to the aid of those in need. Their barn raisings are a good example. Neighbors freely give of their time and their skills to help one another.

Do they learn and stuff?
Amish children attend Amish one-room schoolhouses through the eighth grade. Amish worship services are held every other week in one of the member's homes. Socializing is an important part of Amish life.

Why don't they just smile when I try to take their picture? Geeze. So rude.
The Amish are generally private people and often find all the attention and curiosity about their lifestyle disturbing. They believe that the taking of photographs where someone is recognizable is forbidden by the Biblical prohibition against making any 'graven image'.

What's the deal with their clothes man?
Old Order Amish women and girls wear modest dresses made from solid-colored fabric with long sleeves and a full skirt (not shorter than half-way between knee and floor). These dresses are covered with a cape and apron and are fastened with straight pins or snaps. They never cut their hair, which they wear in a bun on the back of the head. On their heads they wear a white prayer covering if they are married and a black one if they are single. Amish women do not wear jewelry.

Men and boys wear dark-colored suits, straight-cut coats without lapels, broadfall trousers, suspenders, solid-colored shirts, black socks and shoes, and black or straw broad-brimmed hats. Their shirts fasten with conventional buttons, but their suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. They do not have mustaches, but they grow beards after they marry.

The Amish feel these distinctive clothes encourage humility and separation from the world. Their clothing is not a costume; it is an expression of their faith.

How can I become Amish?

Don't even try it. You couldn't handle it. Playa.

For more info. do your own Google search. Or go here, where I stole most of this info:

Also, there's really too much to learn in one post, so if you have any Amish questions, post them here and I will do my best to research them and get you the answers.