Sunday is the day Amish youth groups gather, and when dating couples traditionally meet. So I thought it would be a good day to share this.
National Geographic is airing a new show called “Amish at the Altar”. They describe the show as:
Three couples–two Amish and one ex-Amish–reveal courtship, engagement, and marriage among the Amish. Interviews with the couples, family members, and current and former Amish elders offer an inside look at an old world ceremony.
Nat Geo has shared a short clip of the show (I’ve posted it below), about Amish dating during “Rumspringa“. This is an interesting video for several reasons.
One is the Amish “elder’s” appearance for an on-camera interview (“elder” is the term National Geographic uses; I’m assuming they mean bishop or member of the ministry).
His name is Laverne Keim. In the clip, Keim speaks frankly about the consequences of premarital sex from a church standpoint, as his wife looks on. Keim is from the Garnett, Kansas Amish settlement, a small community with a long history.
In the clip you’ve also got some shots of what appears to be a late-night buggy race. Or it may just be one carriage trying to pass another. You tell me!
I also found the discussion of bed courtship, or “bundling”, interesting. This is a practice that has been associated with the Amish but today is typically only seen among more conservative Amish groups. Indeed many Amish find the practice of bed courtship morally objectionable.
With that in mind the piece’s approach to this practice seems pretty appropriate to me. As an Amish girl in the video explains: “Bed courtship…I would just say it’s sleeping together.”
If you’ve got a minute, worth a look:
By the way, not sure what to make of the hand-holding couple that appears briefly in this clip.Looking for more good reading on the Amish? Check out our list of best Amish books.