TLC, Amish take Manhattan


Last night, TLC debuted its newest series that is sure to draw criticism and complaints, but high viewership. While five members of an Amish community heading to town might not be as ground breaking as Jason Vorhees arriving in the Big Apple, it still isn't something you see everyday in New York City.

And believe me, walk around New York City long enough and you will see everything.

In Breaking Amish, the five aforementioned Amish people, aged 20 to 32, have decided to leave rural Pennsylvania to pursue their dreams. There is an Amish tradition known as Rumspringa, where kids can experience life outside the church around th age of 16, but this is an adult decision with real consequences.

Two members of the show talked to the Huffington Post, Sabrina is 26 and the cast's only Mennonite, and Kate is 21 and a bishop's daughter with dreams of modeling. Kate said she took this chance because of New York's numerous opportunities. 

For Sabrina, she wanted to go somewhere different but wasn't picky. She had no idea New York City was so large though and feels a bit overwhelmed.

Here are some highlights from their interview:

What was the community reaction like when you all said you were leaving?
Kate: "Honestly ... "

Sabrina: "They were unhappy."

Kate: "Very unhappy."

I'm assuming that's putting it nicely? 
Sabrina: "Yeah. I think it was a stretch for them ... still wanting us to be the way the way they wanted us to be, because they're at home, and they can't do anything about it. And they don't know -- sometimes you're more scared of the unknown. If you're actually there, it's not as scary, but thinking about it and not being there, for them, would be a lot more horrible."

Kate: "I know their imaginations probably went a little crazy -- they had no idea what was going on. You immediately think the worst."

Sabrina: "But they're not so much afraid of the things you might do -- they're more afraid for your soul, and they're afraid that if you do this, you're going to go to hell. They're worried about eternity, they're not just worried about New York."

What's the one thing you want viewers to take away from this show?
Sabrina: "The biggest thing for me is I would like people just to feel comfortable in themselves, and be OK with who they are, because when it all comes down to it, who you are as a person is what matters. What comes from the inside is what matters. You have to be happy with yourself before you'll ever be able to make other people happy."

Kate: "I want people to realize how fortunate they are to have the opportunities that they have ... there's a lot of things that we aren't able to do in the Amish and Mennonite communities that other people take for granted. Simple things like having electricity and driving a car ... I don't think they realize how fortunate they are to have those opportunities."

Do you regret the decision to leave the community and do this show?
Kate: "It definitely taught me a lot. I learned a lot of things about myself doing this show ... things that I never even realized about myself."

Sabrina: "I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't do anything differently. I think it was a good experience for us, and it helped us grow as people. I think it made us all better people in the end."

The two girls are still shooting the show's nine one-hour episodes. They wouldn't reveal if they had moved back to Pennsylvania or were still in New York City. 

- Breaking Amish

Written by: Hamatosan
Sep 10th, 2012, 4:45 am


Message Posted On Sep 17th, 2012, 3:19 pm
I was raised mennonite and grew up around the amish mennonites and some of my relatives on my fathers side are amish. First of all, this "reality show", depicting amish is merely nothing but "actors" and it is designed to generate inappropriate co-notations of amish mennonites, and their lifestyle. I see someone (I assume the producer) of this show "using the amish" to generate ratings and revenue by exploiting the amish. To the general public who is not familiar with the amish, they would believe what they are hearing and watching. Young amish may feel the feelings expressed and many do try to live "english" and many do come back to their amish roots. They are "shunned" if they go english (those parts are truth in the show), the problem is these people used are merely "fakes" and "actors!" They do NOT speak the amish accent and dialect, and amish would be more "naive" in their conversation and acting for live television. These "actors" dress like amish but the producer does not know anything about the amish because the men do not shave their heads, their hair is longer and cut "bowl cut" style, and usually looks "greasy." These men (actors) speak modern with no accent or dialect, and have hair cuts same as non-amish. The women on this reality show speak much too fluent to be amish and speak like english women. Amish don't say words like "friggen" and the speech is same as modern english. Amish women are naive in their talk, speech, and thought process. Here is an example of amish dialect: they tog a liddle bid lige this once. A lady named (June), may say, "my name is Chune, and when I chress modern an led my hair down and pudt my plue cheans on once, I loog a liddle bid English. We are going to Chaggy and Emma's house (Jake and Emma's), and we going to bagke some homemade bread once." (you do not hear one hint of this dialect in this TLC "Breaking Amish", and as a mennonite you would know its acting only, and television cameras would never be allowed on their properties at all.) PLEASE USE REAL AMISH TO GET YOUR SHOW RIGHT!!
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