Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lunch at an Amish Home in Lancaster...

The meal we ate...

While I was attending a conference in Lancaster, PA, we had an opportunity to visit an Amish home and have lunch there. The Amish home we visited belonged to Joshua and Linda who have four children. Joshua came from a family of 10 children and Linda from a family of 13. The Lancaster County is known to be the capital for Amish people.

Amish men (file photo)

Amish people is a subgroup of Christian Mennonites. They are called Amish people because they are followers of Jakob Ammann who led an Annabaptist movement in which they pursued a simple and humble life style against then prevailing life styles. Mennonites are also unique in the eyes of average people because they still pursue simple and unique life, but Amish people go beyond the rules of the Mennonites.

Amish women (file photo)
Amish people are settled together in communities, called church districts. Each church district comprises 20-40 families and is led by a bishop and other ministers and deacons. They gather to worship every other Sunday at the home of one of the members. Amish people have church rules that are strict and strictly enforced. If anyone fails to abide by the rules and refuses to repent, he or she will be banned from the church and the community for good.
Amish people's belief centers around simple living and plain dress. Their life style looks unique to others because of the following reasons:

The family Joshua is from
First, they refuse to benefit from many conveniences of modern technology, such as cars, telephones and electricity. Instead of driving automobiles, they ride horse-led buggies. Women ride two-wheeled boards with a handle, propelling it by pushing the ground with one foot.

Second, they seek peace and humility. For this reason, they refuse to conduct any military service.

The two-wheel vehicle Amish women ride
Third, they do not believe in education. So their education stops at the 8th grade or 14 years of age. Our host, Joshua, explained that they do not believe they need to learn any more than their simple living requires. Moreover, their way of earning income is predominantly farming that does not require higher education, they believe. Also, they believe their children may learn something from school, which may hinder their way of living. So learning is not their necessity.
The family Linda is from

A 2010 US survey indicates that there are approximately 250,000 Amish people in the U.S. Their natural growth rate of 10% a year surpasses the nation's average growth rate. Other places in the U.S. where Amish people live are Kentucky and Indiana.

The buggy
We enjoyed the meal that they served. Most of them were organic and home-made. We were not allowed to take photos of the people because it was against their belief, but were allowed to take photos of everything else. Later, we met a few Monnonites who allowed us to take their photos.
Mennonite women who allowed us to take photos

In this complicated society where we live, a simple life may be what we need, but to what extent is the question. Whatever they may feel in their hearts and think in their minds, they looked happy and healthy. The visit and their life style gave me a good opportunity to reflect our contemporary lifestyle. - Jeffrey

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