Although thousands of visitors come to Lancaster County to experience a
bit of the Amish lifestyle, the Amish are a private people and find the
attention somewhat disconcerting. It is, therefore, important to respect
their feelings while youíre visiting. With that in mind, here are a few
tips for fostering good relations between the Amish and non-Amish.
No pictures, please!
Donít ask an Amish person to pose for a picture. If asked, most will
politely refuse. It is against the convictions of our Amish neighbors to
have their pictures taken, except in very special situations. Please
respect this belief and do not take photos without permission, just as you
would like to have your beliefs respected.
Hold your horses
Driving along area roads, you will no doubt encounter numerous Amish
carriages, or "buggies," as visitors like to call them. Donít
honk your horn, because the sound may frighten the horse and cause an
accident. Instead, wait until it is safe to pass and then give the buggy
plenty of room. Be sure not to cut back in the lane too sharply in front
of the horse. The countyís roads are generally wide enough that you
should be able to pass most buggies without much of a problem.
Do not trespass onto private Amish property for a "closer
look." Amish homes are not museums, and Amish people are not
exhibits. Please respect their property and privacy as you would like
others to respect your own. You can get a good sense of Amish life at many
area visitor attractions and on guided tours.
Donít be offended if the Amish donít wave back. With all the people
who wave to them, theyíd be waving back all day if they did!
A final word . . .
Please remember that the Amish are not on vacation and are not costumed
actors. They are real people going about their daily lives. They are not
here to serve as tour guides or attractions for visitors. This, after all,
is their home.
Amish Country News recurring article