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A Tour to the Amish Village – An Amazing Experience

During the fall of '05, my parents and I decided to go to Philadelphia. We left for Philadelphia on September 25th. We also went to Lancaster, around 78 miles west of Philadelphia. During this trip I learnt about the Amish people, who descended from Europe because they were ruled out of there during the late 1600s. They were Anabaptists. During the Reformation, a lot of them were put to death and a lot of them fled to N. America. Today, most of the Amish people are concentrated among the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana as well as in Ontario, Canada.

We had decided to go to Lancaster first to see the farms out there, and then go to Philadelphia. We left at around 8 am. We took I-95 and then I-83 and finally Route 30 to get to Lancaster. When we entered Pennsylvania on I-83 we saw a Welcome Center. We went there. We had brought some food with us. My mom had made some chicken. We ate and my dad brought a map of Pennsylvania from the visitor center. We stayed there for a few minutes after we finished eating. We got back on our way to Lancaster again. There was a city called York on Route 30. It seemed like an industrial area. We saw the Harley Davidson motorcycle factory and a high steel factory on our way. It took almost 2 hours to get there. After we got there we just looked around the city for a while. Then we had a nice lunch at McDonalds. Then we decided to go to see some farms. We saw huge farms out there. We took some pictures and walked around there for a while. My dad had heard about the Amish people through his friends. They lived around that area. We decided to go to see them. We looked on the map; we found a place that was about the Amish along Route 30.

When we got there, we went to a place called "Amish Village". It had a model of a typical Amish house, the barns, and their vehicles which were like a bogie. One thing that was really interesting was that they still used the same vehicles, did not use any modern technologies for farming. They used horses for plowing. The interior in their houses are old-fashioned too. Most important of all they do not use electricity. In kitchen they use gasoline to cook. They do not use microwaves. They have a big dining table. A typical Amish family has around 8 people. They have washing machines, but they do not have dryers, so they hang the clothes out in the sun to dry them. They use gasoline to provide power for ironing the clothes. Amish men and boys usually wear a long coat and pants and a hat sometimes. Amish women wear like a long gown with an apron like cloth on top of it; they also wear a hat on their head.

Amish people have strict rules. They are not allowed to sit on an automobile on certain days. Amish people form a district where they live. A district has around 20-25 families. If the number exceeds they form another district. They have a bishop/minister who is their chief. The bishop is the chief of the church. Amish people usually speak three languages, English, German, and Dutch. They have their separate school. The kids go to a one room school. They stop going to school around the age of 14. Amish people usually follow a specific routine. They go to church in the morning, have lunch around 2 pm and then go to farm. Today some Amish people also work in the tourist industry.

After that we went to see the Amish people. The owner of the Amish village had told us where we could see them. When we got there it was their farming time. We saw a person farming. He was using a horse to plow and he himself was sitting on a carriage. I was surprised to see that they still used traditional methods of farming. After taking some pictures, we decided to leave for Philadelphia.

It took about an hour and 40 minutes to get to Philadelphia. We first toured the city in our car. We were actually surprised to see that Philadelphia was such a big city. We then went to the Delaware River. We could see the state of New Jersey on the other side of the river. We parked our car and started walking. There was a festival going on out there. It was called the Irish festival. We found a band performing on a stage; lots of people were there. So we went there too. They were singing and playing different kinds of songs and music from all around the globe. We stayed there for a while. We took some pictures along the river. Then we just we hanged out around the city for about an hour. It was around 8 pm already, so we decided to go back. When we reached home it was almost 11 pm.

It was a great experience to see the Amish people and learn about their culture I was stunned to see how they have set themselves apart from the rest of the world and have kind of isolated themselves. This trip was one of the most interesting trips of my life.

By : Ankit Pokharel
Grade 9
Yorktown High School
Virginia, USA

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