After studying the Amish lifestyle in class in Japan, a Japanese girl has the opportunity to visit an Amish community in Pennsylvania.
Wow! I was very impressed when I first visited an Amish family. I was visiting the family of my former sociology professor Vasantkumar who lives near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and they asked me if I wanted to go with them to buy some bread at the home of an Amish family.
“We visited one of the biggest Amish communities in the Lancaster area. There were huge farms with houses and lots of land. I learned they didn’t have any electricity in their houses.”
I was very glad to be asked because we had studied the Amish life style in class, and also I had seen the movie “Witness” part of which was filmed in an Amish community. I wanted to see how they lived together and find out if it was like what I watched in the movie.
While we were buying bread, I noticed that the woman selling the bread was wearing interesting clothes. I had never seen anybody wearing that kind of clothes in real life. They were just like the clothes which I had seen in the movie. She was wearing a blue-colored, old-fashioned dress which didn’t have any buttons, and there were many straight pins on the back of her dress to hold it together. I hoped I would see more how the Amish live.
“I noticed their clothing because all of them were wearing the kind of black clothing which I had seen in the movie!”
Another day, we visited one of the biggest Amish communities in the Lancaster area. There were huge farms with houses and lots of land. I learned they didn’t have any electricity in their houses. They don’t use modern things, so you see no electric wires around the houses.
While we were there, I saw an auction which was held by many Amish people in a market place. Again I noticed their clothing because all of them were wearing the kind of black clothing which I had seen in the movie! I didn’t try to talk with them because I thought they might not want me to talk to them. In the community,
I saw children who were playing around a horse. Although they didn’t play with any of the usual commercial toys which children usually like to play with, these children looked very lively and happy.
The life style of the Amish might be simple and seem to be inconvenient; however, I feel they are really living in a way that respects nature, unlike us. We tend to separate nature and use power to control it. It is very difficult for us who are accustomed to living comfortably with modern conveniences. We use an air conditioner when it is hot. When we want to contact someone, we use the telephone. When we want to write something, we can use computers.
I think we need to notice how we are a part of nature. I believe the Amish people have recognized this. It might be impossible for me to live in the Amish community, but maybe it would be good. to live with fewer modern conveniences.