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Friday, January 10, 2014

“Living With The Amish”

“Living With The Amish” is a British TV documentary about 6 British teenagers who spent 6 weeks with the Amish, a religious group in the US who are known for their simple living and refusal to use modern technology like electricity or vehicles. This TV documentary is a follow-up to another British TV show entitled “Amish: World’s Squarest Teenagers”.

Living With The Amish

In “Amish: World’s Squarest Teenagers”, 5 Amish teenagers went outside their community in the US to experience life in Britain. They experienced things that they normally don’t experience in the US like dancing, painting, polo, surfing and going to night clubs. It was a bit of a shock for these ultra-conservative Amish teenagers who lived all their life without modern day gadgets and electricity.

In “Living With The Amish”, the scenario was reversed. It was the British teenagers’ turn to experience the simplest living. For 6 weeks, these British teenagers namely Charlotte, Hannah, Siana, George, James and Jordan. They lived in a community where most of their daily lives and roles revolved around obeying The Bible. Everything is based on The Bible, from the way they dress, the way the women cover their hairs, to the traditional role of woman being submissive to her husband and being a helper in raising the family.

This was my first time to encounter this religious group of people who migrated from Europe and settled in to America to follow their religion. They’ve been living in the US for more than 300 years and surprisingly, they have retained their way of living ever since they’ve migrated. What’s more surprising to me was their refusal to use modern-day technology like electricity, automobiles, radio and TV. In some case, like that of the most conservative of the Amish group, they also refused to use running water.

In “Amish: World’s Squarest Teenagers”, the father of Leah and Andrew Miller would read from The Bible the verses where they got derived their way of living i.e. their clothing. In “Living With The Amish”, the teenagers learned the things that are important to the Amish people – following The Bible, being a member of the Amish church, the joys of working hard, enjoying the fruits of their labor (i.e. eating their own produce) and learning all the important things at home. In fact, Amish children would only go to school until the age of 14 because they believe a child would have learned everything needed for a modest life at that age.

“Living With The Amish” is an eye-opener for me and teaches the things that are really important in life – family, having a strong faith in God, doing your work to the best of your ability, being in a community of similar-minded people, living a modest life, and being thankful for each and every day of your life. This is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen and hopefully my friends would also see “Living With The Amish”.

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