An authentic Amish buggy ride visiting one of the oldest and largest Amish Communities in America is an interesting, but beautiful experience. Lancaster County is a place where time stands still. A place where the Amish live without modern technology, cars, electricity or running water.
The way of life for the Amish in Lancaster County has remained pretty unchanged since they settled there around 300 years ago. During my visits, I got a better view of their ways. And what I really appreciated was being shown around by a local family that talked proudly about their culture. I was told that the men are usually working in the farm. The women are usually working in the household. However, without using any modern equipment or tools depending on electricity. The families are usually big, and having between seven and ten children is common.
The school in the community is just a small room, where the children from 6 to 14 get the same education, operated by Amish parents.
The Amish is not allowed to drive cars. That is why I was wondering, when one of the sons in the family I visited drove a car. Was this just a scam? However, it was explained that when turning 16, the Amish entry to rumspringa. This is a period that they are allowed to experience the outside world, and do not need to follow the Amish rules. They can drive cars, drink, and experiment with other aspects of mainstream American culture without worrying about the consequences from the community. And this was why he was allowed to use the car.
However, after this period, they have a choice: to turn back to the Amish life, or continue living in the outside world. Do they decide the last, will they be abandoned by their family and the community. The same, happens if they for example would like to marry a person that do not belong to the Amish community.
During a visit to Lancaster County, you will certainly get a better insight in the interesting Amish culture. However, some aspects, like the market, might be a bit touristic. But, it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area!