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The Amish - identities and exchanges

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Par   •  23 Novembre 2022  •  Compte rendu  •  554 Mots (3 Pages)  •  84 Vues

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The Amish - Identities and exchanges 3 et 4

Today I will present to you two pictures I find relevant to discuss identities and exchanges. I would define identity as something specific to each person or each group of people.

So every group and person has a single identity.

Your identity is what makes you different from the others.

We can say that the Amish community has its own identity, they have a completely different lifestyle, they dress and live like in the 1800s. As you can see in the first picture the two boys are plain dress: black pants and black coat with a white shirt under, they wear a hat whereas today, the boys their age are most likely to wear blue jeans, a hoodie and some sneakers, and you’ll barely see young boys with hats like these. Also, they are on a scooter because they don’t use technology, some communities don’t even allow them to use a bike.

So Amish people define themselves by their specific lifestyle.

If they have their own identity as a community, they don’t as an individual. Indeed, they all dress the same, they have the same haircut like the two boys, they have the same life, they have the same profession. The Amish can't dye their hair, they can't dress like they want even though your clothes can be a way to express yourself and your personality. All the girls are meant to become housekeepers after the 8th grade, they can’t play any music instrument, they can't have a drawing of someone in their house because it’s considered as an idol and it would encourage pride. So they are very restricted in their personal life. They can only find their identity during Rumspringa, when they discover the outside world for a period of time at 16, and they can exchange with non-Amish people .

[pic 1][pic 2]

Because, their community is indeed very excluded from what they call the “English world”. They all speak Pennsylvania Dutch, education is made by Amish people, they live with their family, they don't use technology. It varies from one community to another but they usually don’t use cars or even electricity. So they don’t have the Internet, they can’t meet people through social media. Their lifestyle is again very different from ours as most Amish groups use horses to pull harvesting machinery in the field. We can see in the picture that manufacturers demonstrate new state-of-the-art machinery designed to be pulled by horses. They can’t use a tractor like the non Amish farmer.

However, there’s still a lot of exchanges within the community. I would define an exchange as a mutual flow between two people or groups. It's when you give or teach something to

someone and they do the same in return. And the Amish lifestyle is based on solidarity. As we can see in the second picture, a lot of people have met to harvest the field together. And we saw it in class, if an Amish person finds herself in trouble, the others would help them. If you need money, they will advise you to sell your house to buy a smaller one, and to adapt your lifestyle to pay off your debts. So an Amish is never left out by their community.

To Conclude, The AMish community is very relevant to discuss identities and exchanges.

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