Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania (2)

Amish people also hang their laundry outside the door, haha! It’s quite similar to Chinese families but not American families. When Amish girls reach 16 – 18, and boys 20 – 22, they will decide whether or not they will receive sacrament. In addition to traditional Christian ceremonies, they must also vow to a series of principles, including the prohibition of premarital sex. Amish people can choose whether or to they will receive the sacrament, but once they do, they must live up to their vows. In circumstances when Amish people break the vows, they will receive punishments such as being isolated by everyone else. Do you think such punishment works?

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Amish people can also choose to live a urban life. When Amish people reach adulthood, their parents will ask about their life choice. In a survey conducted more than 10 years ago, about 2 in every 10 Amish people wish to live in the city. According to a recent survey…… guess how the situation has changed?

 

Amish girls’ and boys’ clothing. There are not many varieties in styles because Amish people believe in simplicity. Boys all wear black trousers with braces and shirts. They wear western suits with ties when they go to Church on Sunday, as to show their respect to God. Amish dressing styles resist any kind of modern element, for example, they only use bottoms but not zips, and only monochromatic clothing but never chromatic ones. All girls wear dresses with aprons, fixed by pins. It looks kind of dogmatic to me; after all, pins are not so safe especially for girls’ clothing.

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Amish people live up to the principle of simplicity even when they decorate their houses. There is only basic furniture, but no television. Fully decorated curtains show that the house owner is not married. Having no television doesn’t mean they receive no information from the outside world; everyday Amish people listen to the radio to learn about the world.

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Amish people rely on kerosene lamp rather than electricity. They invented this “mobile gas holder” to ensure safety as well as energy saving.

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They travel by carriage rather than car. I saw quite a few carriages on the road. Felt like they were living a medieval rural life.

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Night acitivity with local community. The performance was achieved by innovative representatives from every country. In the end, those of us from China sang the song “Jasmine Flower”, accompanied by a gorgeous young man playing piano. I didn’t really remember any other lyrics except the first line……Oooops

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These two aged lady and gentleman welcomed us into the community. Out of their love for God, they voluntarily received guests from around the world. They could have just stayed at home and enjoyed their life, but they chose to spend five tiring days with a group of people from diverse backgrounds, making sure everyone was safe and happy. They only wish that God’s Gospel travelled to more people!

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This guy is from Taiwan, and the girl from Mainland China. Before the performance started we invited him to join us in performance since they were such a small group, but he rejected the invitation without any hesitation. Surprisingly, he introduced himself on stage by saying “I’m from Taiwan and this girl is from Mainland China. You guys all know how complicated the situation is between us, so I’d like to invite this lady to perform with me.”

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This girl is from Saudi Arabia. She tried hard to change the general stereotype that women in Arabic world have an extremely low social status. She said that in her country, women’s life is just the same as women in any other country – they receive equal opportunity in education and career development; they can also hang out with their friends on the street and drive a car. Even the clothing aren’t so different, except that they must cover the head with a scarf.

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Fellows from Japan introduced the Japanese “Toilet Culture”. According to them, it would be a complete enjoyment to use a Japanese toilet: you will be welcomed by music as you enter the toilet, more music as you sit down, and you will be washed with warm water when you finish. Haha!

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A Pakistani man who lived in Israel. I asked him about the their relationship with Jewish people, and he said there was no problem at all living with Jewish people. Politicians and the media retorted their real relationship, maximizing the negative influence while neglecting the positive news. Although I knew that they shared a common ancestor Abraham, I only learned today that their languages, Hebrew and Arabic, are kind of closely related too.

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Egyptian girl talking about current situation in Egypt. Unfortunately my mind was wandering for a few minutes and I didn’t remember anything……

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Linguistic teacher from Russia. He read Pushkin’s poems in Russian. “I loved you one day.”

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Mountain Joy, three hours away from New York by train. A villa in that area costs around 150 – 200 grands. The price is so attractive, compared with that in China. No wonder so many Chinese people are buying estates here. My landlady bought a mobile house for only 70 grands — and it’s permanent property rights! The small town looks like a great place for vocation and retirement!

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