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Old 08-23-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
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The Sustainability of the "Amish" Culture

When I say Amish culture, I am specifically referring to the original concept of the faith and lifestyle: a rejection of many luxuries and technologies in order to have a closer, more pure relationship to God and his Creation. This basic principle is the driving reason behind the Amish having limited (if any) contact with outsiders, who they call "The English" (doesn't matter what ethnicity/nationality you are). Most interaction the Amish have with the "English" is economical, such as providing goods and services for them. However, as the influence of the "English" is becoming more and more powerful, Amish communities have had to adapt to survive.

Now, many Amish families become friends with at least one non-Amish family in order to have access to a car or phone in case of an emergency. Both of these are examples of bending the rules, or "Ordnung," of almost every Amish community. Yet, it is quickly becoming a necessity for those families survive. Also, many Amish are beginning to shop at stores like Walmart, so much so that Walmarts near or in Amish areas have posts for the Amish to tie their horses.

What really got me thinking about the sustainability of the traditional Amish lifestyle and community was the main part of this article. Two young Amish girls were abducted near the US/Canadian border in New York, making this a possible international incident. A major obstacle that investigators had was that since the Amish ban photographs and ban likenesses of people, there was no good decription that they had to work with. Ultimately, the girls' parents agreed to give details for a sketch of the older daughter, but refused to do so for the younger daughter. This was an incredibly uncomfortable process for them during an already stressful time. Fortunately, the girls were found, but they had been sexually abused. As the US population continues to increase and expand into areas that were traditionally Amish-only, how long will the Amish be able to maintain their traditions and culture?

I live not too far from Amish communities in Indiana, and I know people who live in towns that neighbor Amish communities, and I have seen major deviations in their way of life from the traditional Amish way. Many now own diesel-powered trucks, and I am seeing more and more of them wearing mass-produced shoes instead of handmade ones. They are not Mennonites, who also live a more simple life but embrace more technologies, but self-identified Amish. This line-blurring is definitely a symptom of the encroachment of the English into their lives.

I believe that within the next 30 years, as technology continues to explode and non-Amish move into Amish areas, the Amish culture will become something very different from the traditional concept of it. What do you think about the sustainability and preservation of not only the Amish, but similar culturally-isolated and separated groups?

What do you think
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:56 PM   #2
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good for them
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:09 PM   #3
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there's a lot of people like that around here. they aren't Amish though. mostly Hutterites.

i have respect for their minimal lifestyles and their work ethic. some of them that i've met are dickheads to outsiders but others are more easy to get along with. and i've heard stuff about some colony's kids being particularly mischievous (ie. stealing shit from outsiders- phones, cigarettes, etc), but like i said before, they work all day, nearly every day. more than you can say about most people in general.

i think society could take an example from them.

also, imo technology = increased human capabilities = shitty people having these capabilities = abuse of power

Last edited by Dregen : 08-23-2014 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:44 AM   #4
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I live in one of the biggest Amish areas of the US (Lancaster, PA), and they seem to do just fine living the way they want to live. I don't think there's any reason why they can't continue. They're pretty well integrated into the way of life around here.

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Old 08-24-2014, 02:53 AM   #5
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I see the amish with horse drawn whatevers in the area sometimes.

Not having the internet to fully occupy my mind would drive me insane, or to extreme alcohol abuse.

I have no idea how many give up being amish.
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by stratkat
I have no idea how many give up being amish.

Surprisingly not that many considering when they are like 17 or so they are allowed to go out and experience anything they normally wouldn't.

Although I've heard Amish kids throw the craziest parties.
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Old 08-24-2014, 07:52 AM   #7
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