Amish Essay 1

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Janie Kiester Mini Ethnography on Amish Dinner Instructor, Michelle Stone, PhD Amish/Mennonite Information: Today there are over 12 different Amish and Mennonite groups in the Shipshawana area. They do not permit electricity or telephones in their homes. By restricting access to television, radio, and telephones, the Amish feel they are better able to keep the modern world from intruding into their home life. The Amish have long preferred farming as a way of life. They feel their lifestyle and their families can best be maintained in a rural environment. While they do not permit the use of tractors in their fields, these traditional Amish groups do use modern farm equipment pulled by teams of horses or mules. These traditional Amish groups do not own or operate automobiles, believing that cars would provide easier access to the ways of the world. You often see their horses and buggies on the streets of Shipshawana. These traditional groups wear plain clothing styles, which has earned them the name "Plain People". It is the simple, peaceful lifestyle of these plain people that attracts such a curiosity today. Many wonder how these people can survive in their supposedly backward ways. Well, they're not only surviving - they're thriving. Since 1960, the Amish population in Shipshewana has almost tripled. Their separation from the rest of society actually helps to strengthen their community. Amish children attend Amish one-room school houses 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. 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 and neighbors freely give of their time and their skills to help one another. 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...
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