A non-Amish young lady has opened a pretzel business after learning the trade from Amish pretzel stand owners. And they are supporting her in her new venture. I found this a neat story (no longer online) for the fact that Serena Zentner wore Amish clothing while working at the Wyomissing (Reading, PA-area) farmer’s market:
In December, Zentner was an apprentice at the soft pretzel corner. Wyomissing PA Dutch Farmers Market. Every Thursday she wore traditional Amish clothes and worked unpaid until she mastered the trade.
They owner of the pretzel stand she worked at is helping out, along with other Amish (note that this article has some peculiar grammatical errors which lead me to believe it may have been written by a non-native speaker):
And to ensure that Salty Gal starts with his right foot, Zentner’s Amish friends are now pitching to her business, including Katie May King, owner of Soft Pretzel Corner.
“I thought she gave the best presentation,” Zentner said of May’s pretzels. “They are very fluffy.”
This is not the only case I’ve come across of Amish people sharing their clothes with English – in fact I’ve seen it with my own eyes at least twice. I’ve seen it with one family of Lancaster Amish friends dressing up a non-Amish girl in a dress. My brother is another example, who tried on an Amish bonnet once while goofing around a bit with Amish friends. He normally only wear’s men’s clothes, so I won’t post the photo here because the internet is forever and I haven’t cleared it with him, but it’s a funny shot. I was given an Amish men’s hat as a present once by a friend in Ohio. It’s a size too small, so I haven’t worn it much, but it’s nice to have.
In any culture people can be prickly, but I think overall the Amish are pretty relaxed about this kind of thing. Amish clothing has meaning, and is important to them, but they are not “sacred garments” of anything like that. They are just clothing, and I don’t think too many Amish are going to take offense at non-Amish people wearing their clothing in special situations (well as long as they’re behaving themselves, I suppose). To the contrary, from what I’ve seen I think they get a kick out of seeing English friends trying out their clothing.
Back to this pretzel story. It looks this full immersion, which included actually wearing Amish clothing, helped Serena Zentner learn the trade pretty well, and get off to a good start. Good for her.