Photographer's Note

I have seen the Amish buggies a number of times, but in a recent visit to Lancaster County (Pennsylvania) I noticed what could be considered Amish public transportation. It is actually offering rides to the many tourists that are attracted by the stores and gift shops selling their well-regarded products (furniture, organic food and the like). The WS has a typical image of an Amish buggy passing in front of a reliatively famous wine store. Hope you'll find them interesting...

Some Wikipedia info on the Amish (more detail here):
The Amish are an Anabaptist Christian denomination in the United States and Ontario (Canada). They separate themselves from mainstream society for religious reasons: they do not join the military, they draw no Social Security, nor do they accept any form of financial assistance from the government, and many avoid insurance. Most speak a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch (or Pennsylvania German, which the Amish themselves call Deitsch) at home and in church services, and learn English in school.

In 2000, Raber's Almanac estimated there were 198,000 Old Order Amish in the United States. Ohio has the largest population (55,000), followed by Pennsylvania (47,000) and Indiana (37,000). The largest Amish settlements are in Holmes County, Ohio; Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and LaGrange, Indiana. With an average of seven children per family, the Amish population is growing rapidly, and new settlements are constantly being formed to obtain sufficient farmland.

The Amish are most known for their plain dress and limited use of modern devices such as automobiles and electricity. The avoidance of items such as automobiles and electricity is largely misunderstood - they do not view technology as evil. The Amish anti-individualist orientation is the motive for rejecting labor-saving technologies that might make one less dependent on community; or which, like electricity, might start a competition for status-goods; or which might cultivate individual or family vanity. It is also the proximate cause for rejecting education beyond the eighth grade, especially speculative study that has little practical use for farm life but may awaken personal and materialistic ambitions. The emphasis on competition and the uncritical assumption that self-reliance is a good thing both cultivated in American high schools and exulted as an American ideal are in direct opposition to core Amish values.

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Additional Photos by Catalin Moraru (cmoraru) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 140 W: 26 N: 162] (557)
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