Armish Life
USINFO | 2013-08-05 18:29

The Pennsylvania Amish of Lancaster County are America's oldest Amish settlement, where thousands still live a centuries-old "Plain" lifestyle. Arriving in PA Dutch Country allows you to step back in time to enjoy a slower, more peaceful pace – one where the horse & buggy remains a primary form of transportation, and where windmills dot the landscape, providing power harnessed from nature. Always a vital part of Lancaster County culture, the PA Amish are involved in agriculture as well as an array of businesses and cottage industries.
When you visit Lancaster County be sure to take a tour of the Pennsylvania Amish countryside –you can even do it in an Amish horse and buggy. Afterwards, explore the many Amish-themed attractions, and events, shop for hand-made Amish crafts, and chow down on some authentic PA Dutch cooking.
Relations with the outside world
As time has passed, the Amish have felt pressures from the modern world. Child labor laws, for example, are threatening their long-established ways of life, and raise questions regarding the treatment of children in an Amish household, and also in the way the Amish view emotional and medical support. A modern society places little emphasis on the emotional and spiritual bonds found in an Amish household that bind them together as a people. There is instead a negative perception regarding how the Amish choose to view some medical conditions as being 'The Will of God', without always receiving modern medical treatment found in hospitals or medical clinics; though many Amish communities maintain communal telephones to reach others in cases of emergency. Amish children often follow in their faith's long-standing tradition of being taught at an early age to work jobs in the home on the family's land or that of the community. Children are taught the traditions of their parents or immediate family until adolescence, when they are able to go into the world and compare their family's teachings with those of the world through rumspringa. Viewed as a respectful and enduring group, the Amish still spark controversy in modern society relating to their methods of raising young children, which vary greatly from the non-Amish.
Contrary to popular belief, some of the Amish vote, and they have been courted by national parties as potential swing voters: while their pacifism and social conscience cause some of them to be drawn to left-of-center politics, their generally conservative outlook causes many to favor the right wing.
They are nonresistant, and rarely defend themselves physically or even in court; in wartime, they take conscientious objector status. Their own folk-history contains tales of heroic nonresistance, such as the insistence of Jacob Hochstetler (1704–1775) that his sons stop shooting at hostile Indians, who proceeded to kill some of the family and take others captive. During World War II the Amish entered Civilian Public Service.
Amish rely on their church and community for support, and thus reject the concept of insurance. An example of such support is barn raising, in which the entire community gathers together to build a barn in a single day. Such an event brings together family and friends to celebrate and bond.
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