Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Amish, not Mennonite

Temperature -  30 (-1C) inside and out – not cold under the duvet, yet....

Frozen night exhalations
we spent the night in Salt Fork state park,Ohio and woke to find this site.That’s frost on the inside of the windscreen. it was a cold night. 

The Amish is what we came to this ‘hood to see and i had this in my head all day. They’re called the Pennsylvania Dutch, but in this case they were in Ohio, and they’re never Dutch. That comes from a misunderstanding of Deutsch as they’re originally from Germany and Switzerland.
We watched a short video at the Amish and Mennonite history centre. Here they sold many books, postcards, Amish-made stuff and we learned  a little about them. I will recap as best i can in brief
  • Mennonites and Amish come from the Germany/Switzerland border area and have been around since the early 15th century
  • They are Anabaptists and believe that one is not born into a religion, rather they must choose to follow it and are baptised into the faith as adults – seems reasonable but the powers that be were not into that and the Anabaptist term is a disparaging one applied in their homeland
  • in 1693 a split occurred and some chose to follow Joseph Amman. They became Amish and, I guess, were more hard-core believers
  • in the 18th century, William Penn invited them over to Pennsylvania and they still live there and some drifted west into Ohio.
  • Some of the differences between Amish and Mennonites are that the Amish are more traditional, they school their kids to 13 years and they more or less live self-sufficiently and stay within their community. They can have machines, and use tractors and some other machines for their work but you’re unlikely to find Wi-Fi at their barn, however.
  • Mennonites are less formal and live among ordinary folk. More of a religion than a lifestyle.
We visited the town of Berlin, Ohio. The following pictures were taken in or around there.
Amish out for a  drive on main street, Berlin. This is how they mostly get around. The buggies have lights,  a windscreen and a slot beneath that lets the reigns into the vehicle

Like Duel, but with a horse, and slower
Buggies in the rear view mirror… They’re everywhere, these vehicles. Some were more sporty with 2 seats and no roof. I guess they’re more rakish and lively than the typical black box we see here.

Have you seen the buggy keys?
This buggy contained three generations of Amish. This lady was at the reigns and an older lady came out carrying an infant – off down to Zincks to get something. Something without batteries, presumably

Dining in an Amish paradise
Ever seen the inside of an Amish restaurant? This place is called Boyd and Wurthmann and it was great. The food was lovely and it was rammed!
I noticed that the front of house staff were wearing 'modern' clothing and cosmetics which I didn't expect

As an aside; whilst we were here i looked out the front window to see a white truck roll by. The driver waved at someone on the street and his passenger copied him. Nothing interesting there, but his passenger was a monkey! I am not making this up and i wish I had photographic evidence, but it was too brief. The monkey was wearing clothes and looked like the kind in Indiana Jones, the one that ate the ‘bad date’.

Later we went went to a store called Lehman’s. It’s a great place; huge and full of modern conveniences that do not need batteries, although there are, of course, many that do. It has an enormous range of traditional cookware, hardware, tools and innumerable other things They even sell old-fashioned wrought iron nails for your old-fashioned barn. We also found a ceramic kitchen knife for only $20. it's only a matter of time before I cut myself

We camped at Mohican state park were an irritating cat meowed at us all evening in exchange for a little tuna. I shooed it off but he was back and under the car by morning. Hopefully not under the wheel as we left..
I’m typing this en route to the Edison museum. We’re in a McDonald’s car park. It’s 40F in the car so I will finish up and go warm my hands.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Guys! I'm enjoying the blog and living vicariously through your adventures. My guess is that the "pretty lasses" are experimenting because of Rumspringa:

    Enjoy your journey. We hope to see you in Georgia sometime in the future. It's still nice and warm here.

    Sara Mason (aka Big Mike's wife)