Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Amish faith

The website I have chosen is the Amish Website for America. This website represents Amish communities from around America is a website where you can find news, events and information about Amish communities from around the country. Even though the man responsible for this website (Erik Wesner)  is not Amish he writes on the 'about' page that he was lucky enough to be accepted into their lifestyle and wrote a book on Amish entrepreneur and businessmen. The website is also a host to a public blog where people from Amish settlements can post news stories from their own experiences. On the home page you can get links to an online amish dating website, one of its first in the world and links to photos and the blog.
The Amish are a group of traditionalist christian church fellowships closely related too mennonite church. They are known for simple living, plain dress and an objection to adopt many conveniences of modern living that the rest of the world has. In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites immigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. There are around 250,000 Amish living within the USA and this has grown 10% in the last couple of years.
Something fascinating about the website I chose to look at was the fact that it has an Encyclopaedia of Amish questions and FAQs. There are many normal and interesting questions that are asked to the Amish community, some of these are; What are typical Amish business', How many children do Amish have, Do Amish woman wear makeup, Do Amish date and can Amish get divorced.' There are also some unusual questions, such as; can Amish fly, what do Amish think about tourism and do Amish tell jokes.'
The Amish live a lifestyle which is the same as it was 100 years ago. They don't believe in using electricity or most modern items, For example on the website, when asked if the Amish use electricity this was the answer:
Amish do not use power from the public electric grid due to a belief that too much reliance on public power ties one too close to the world.  Amish are cautious about worldly influences and ideas which may run counter to Christian values.  Amish are careful about what they let into their homes, a fundamental sphere of Amish existence.
They still live in a post modern world, something that has been lost and only a few native groups and religious groups still do. For example the Amish don't use birth control as they have the view of 'to go forth and multiply', they go to church most days of the week, the woman do not wear make up or any bright/non plain clothes, (they are not allowed to express themselves), they don't believe in divorce, the children are only educated until 8th grade and then the children will either do manual labour (boys) or work in the community kitchen etc becoming domesticated (girls). 
Their lifestyle is very much an old one, however they do represent a part of american identity which is hard to come by now, an identity that has died out practically everywhere else. 

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