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Amish on American Perspectives


Kitchen Princess

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Watching it now.

I tuned in a bit late, but was somewhat troubled with the rather pretty picture they were painting, in the first half.

And, to a certain extent, I mean that literally. Because they are mostly respecting the fact that many Amish do not want to have their faces filmed, there have been a lot of beautiful shots of lovely hats, clothes, houses, animals, buggies and fields.

They talked about the bigotry against the Amish in the early days, and the first truly ugly ting was their talking about the shooting that happened in 2006, in which Amish children were the victims.

They have, since, touched on shunning and the submission of women, and there have been fragments of interviews running throughout, with people who have left, basically because the life was too restricted for their minds and sense of self-worth.

They've talked about the inability for the Amish system to sustain future generations economically, and showed young Amish men working in factories.

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I thought it was beautifully filmed. Seeing the folks and their environs was my favorite part.

I cried when I saw the state police commander talking about the shooting, just like I did at the time.

Overall, I think it was a pretty balanced thing. They presented a good story about the woman who left because she couldn't imagine not going to school past 8th grade.

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Watching it now.

I tuned in a bit late, but was somewhat troubled with the rather pretty picture they were painting, in the first half.

And, to a certain extent, I mean that literally. Because they are mostly respecting the fact that many Amish do not want to have their faces filmed, there have been a lot of beautiful shots of lovely hats, clothes, houses, animals, buggies and fields.

They talked about the bigotry against the Amish in the early days, and the first truly ugly ting was their talking about the shooting that happened in 2006, in which Amish children were the victims.

They have, since, touched on shunning and the submission of women, and there have been fragments of interviews running throughout, with people who have left, basically because the life was too restricted for their minds and sense of self-worth.

They've talked about the inability for the Amish system to sustain future generations economically, and showed young Amish men working in factories.

I live pretty close to two different Amish settlements. I would guess both make much of their money off tourists or "English" in general. The men make furniture and also build barns,sheds and install hardwood flooring. The women make quilts,baskets,and other handmade things. In summer they run roadside stands with fruit , vegs,eggs and baked goods. Most of the houses have small,white signs with black writing advertising what they sell and are fine to sell to tourists.

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It's online - I would guess "Chapter 1" is what aired today? I didn't know about it, so I'm going to watch it later. I've always been fascinated with the Amish, so I'm interested to see this.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/amish

The matter-of-fact way they talk about shunning in the faq is a bit unsettling. I can understand wanting to live off the land and have a simpler life, but I think this is one of the uglier aspects.

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I live in between the first largest and fourth largest settlements of Amish people in the world, I've been fascinated by Amish people all my life. I'm going to have to track this one down but I always find these types of shows lacking, at least the general overview type shows. There have been quite a few Amish documentaries lately, one channel re-ran Devil's Playground and then ran a show called Amish at the Altar and another about Amish who have left the order.

I read a couple of books not that long ago thinking I was going to get some juicy stuff since the book was written by a woman who 'escaped' but I quickly found myself siding with her Amish relatives and thinking they were better off with her shunned. Borrn Amish and Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life by Ruth Irene Garrett are the books but I really do not recommend them, really. Ruth Irene Garrett seems more sensationalist than anything else, she acts shocked that her parents were not ok with their young teenage daughter wanting to run off with a morbidly obese, aging, thrice divorced man and blames their reaction on the Amish faith. I can't see any parents being overjoyed at their young daughter bringing that man home, especially considering that the first thing he does when he helps her escape is give her a razor and tell her if she is going to be with him, she'll shave her legs.

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Did they talk about the Amish group that migrated to Colorado?

At about 95 minutes in, though all they basically did was show a family looking at land for sale.

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I watched beginning to end, but was interrupted a few times. It was 2hrs and a slower pace, but not atypical of PBS. It's def an overview, but they do at least mention submission, shunning, lack of formal education, but it is pretty glossy throughout.

I was most interested in an audio interview with an Amish woman who said she married an abusive man. I missed parts of it bc during it my bf brought up a health concern but from what I heard she went to the church, they 1st asked what SHE did wrong, then there was the part I missed, but sounded like they were excommunicated, she decided she couldn't live without the church, confessed to everything they wanted her to, even if she thought they were wrong, and got back in but her husband didn't.

I'm going to try to find this online tmrw so I can verify.

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I've been fascinated by the Amish ever since reading about them in Seventeen Magazine back in 1992. I kept that issue around for years for the article. I am disappointed I missed this but will watch it online tomorrow.

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I watched it last night online. It was interesting. The mother speaking of waiting to know if her daughter died -- then having to tell her surviving children their sister was dead was heartbreaking.

The parties put on by Amish kids around here are WAY more wild than by the 'English' kids. I wouldn't want my kids at one of those parties - when they go all out - it's like mass alcohol poisoning waiting to happen. I've never been to a regular party where people freak out so much but then again for the most part - most people see alcohol and have kissed etc.

I also worry because I wonder if their parents ever speak of the dangers of drugs, alcohol, unprotected sex etc if this is all done on the 'down low' so to speak.

Still the fact they are allowed to go out and experience life outside their church\community before making the decision to become a member is BIG IMO because they are given a choice. Although I assume since following the church and the rules set down by the church there is a big element of pressure to follow.

I do feel badly for those who have an issue with the church after their Baptism because if they leave they are shunned and can never speak to their families again. Some of their youngest siblings might not even know they exist.

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I don't remember where I read that.. Amish America or Kate Journey to the Amish (blog is closed) but apparently levels of shunning depends on the community. In some communities, shunning means you can't pass an object to someone else, but you can talk to them. The level of ignoring former members seems very variable...

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The wild partying is interesting - the book "Rumspringa" by Tom Schactman talks about it too. There is all sorts of wild partying and drug use among some (not all) that's really "out there" even by secular delinquent standards.

But the more disturbing part, IMO, is that while that is allowed or at least looked the other way from, what is very much NOT allowed is any moves that would allow people to experience a more sane and normal form of non-Amish actual ALTERNATIVE lifestyles. Partying? That's one thing, people think the kids will eventually reject it and do a prodigal son type return, and many do. "Life outside is terrible and meaningless." But saying you want to go to high school? Whoa, NOT gonna happen, for the most part, because that's an actual threat. Same story with saying you want to attend another church (say, mainstream Baptist).

Being told you can do whatever you want and experience "freedom" at 16 or so without any actual supports or knowledge about what secular normal educated lifestyles is like is really rigging the game, I think.

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The wild partying is interesting - the book "Rumspringa" by Tom Schactman talks about it too. There is all sorts of wild partying and drug use among some (not all) that's really "out there" even by secular delinquent standards.

But the more disturbing part, IMO, is that while that is allowed or at least looked the other way from, what is very much NOT allowed is any moves that would allow people to experience a more sane and normal form of non-Amish actual ALTERNATIVE lifestyles. Partying? That's one thing, people think the kids will eventually reject it and do a prodigal son type return, and many do. "Life outside is terrible and meaningless." But saying you want to go to high school? Whoa, NOT gonna happen, for the most part, because that's an actual threat. Same story with saying you want to attend another church (say, mainstream Baptist).

Being told you can do whatever you want and experience "freedom" at 16 or so without any actual supports or knowledge about what secular normal educated lifestyles is like is really rigging the game, I think.

I always thought that too. like see how depraved the outside is? Don't give your kids guidelines adapted to the outside world, and most of them will just make the worst of choices and never want to experience that again!

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I watched it in passing two nights ago and was struck by the explanation for why they are not a "part of the world." They said it was because of the burnings and persecution and that they are suspicious. I always thought it was biblical. Now I wonder which is correct.

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