A Different World

Photo essay: America's Amish country

by Fariba Amini
There is another America, beside the world of Donald Trump, the self righteous billionaire who questions Obama's citizenship, Sara Palin, yesterday’s Republican contender, Wall Street and the Beltway, an America beyond think tanks, invasions and wars. We find it in the serene landscapes where a group of people live much as they did a century or more ago, bothering no one and tending to their very ordinary lives, refusing to use expensive gas by riding their carriages, playing with their families outdoors (without TV and internet), and producing organic food. This is the world of the Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is a rural world, not far from modern “civilization” in distance, yet utterly removed from it in spirit. It is good to get away to this world and see how its people live—the long bearded men, the women and young girls in their traditional outfits, the kids with their straw hats. The landscape and the serenity speak of a tranquil life—one that seems oddly out of synch with the modern world and that seems threatened on all sides.

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Fariba Amini, thanks for beautiful pictures.

by pedro on

In my stay in Americas, I met an Amish couple in their early 40's with 9 children where among them a boy and a girl were mentally challenged. I often visiting them on the weekends, they provided me with all organic fruits and vegetables and once in a while a ride in the horse driven buggy in the narrow dirt roads that sliced the fields of corn, tobacco and soy of Lancaster county in Pennsylvania. It took me a year to convince them to allow me to take pictures of them. They do not wish to be photographed. I have very good memories of them. In one of my visits I asked If can take the children to McDonalds in my SUV for hamburger and soda, they accepted reluctantly, since they have never been in car before. I was warned by the father that they may get car sick, and that I must drive very slow. I began driving no faster than 30 Mph. with the father in the front passenger seat and the family ranging from 2 to 19 years old in the back seats. the children were so exited, and sounded as if they were in a Roller coaster, so I had to drive even slower. Finally we got to the McDonalds. We all enjoyed burger, fries and sodas in McDonalds, girls in long flowery dresses, boys in black slacks, white shirts, suspenders and straw hats. All bare feet except their father and I. I have kept my contact with them through mail correspondence. 

I am Persia. I pray to Ahoura Mazda.


Ms. Amini

by yaar on

There is a nasty side to this way of living and that is consanguinity or
in Farsi "Ham Khonny"
This happens when the parents carries the same damaged gens and there is
no mechanism of correction.
This site says:
"In Ohio's Geagua County, Amish make up only about 10 percent of the
population but represent half the special needs cases...."

"A BBC report discussed Pakistanis in Britain, 55% of whom marry a first
cousin. Given the high rate of such marriages, many children come from
repeat generations of first-cousin marriages. The report states that
these children are 13 times more likely than the general population to
produce children with genetic disorders"


BBC report      (part 1)


sound of sadness

by ComraidsConcubine on

 I'm wondering how long you spent there, because I can't quite figure out if the sound of sadness is part of a sponge or of the moment, but I have to say, that I doubt that you are a professional photographer but most probably somehow connected to one, and your composition is perfect, so please take more pictures.