National Geographic : 1941 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine aiaT Ir'llniograpllLer lil' sol IIoi ll \\ ilaKer On Saturday This Amish Couple Deliver Farm Produce to Strasburg Customers They are members of a stern sect, offshoot of the Mennonites, and consider automobiles and decorative dress as "worldly." Amishmen wear broad-brimmed black hats and their wives cling to plain black bonnets. Hooks and eyes replace buttons on men's suits and on women's long, full dresses (page 40). gourds and pumpkins, fresh and full, glowing like plump children just out of the tub. Zinnias, dahlias, gladioli, and chrysanthe mums put winter out of mind on this late autumn day. Cookies, cakes, and flaky pastry bring it back with luscious thoughts of Christ mas feasting. And over by the butchers' counters, dressed chickens, red steaks, and bulging bologna are samples of the market's meat department. No one is in a hurry here. It is an all-day affair for most. Groups pause in the aisles be tween the stands to greet each other and chat: "Did Daniel get through his operation all right? A good tobacco crop this year. Was much of your corn destroyed by the beetle? I'm glad to see you out today, Sarah." A Literature and a Dialect We have developed a literature. Writers have sung of our land and of us in the lan guage our forefathers brought with them from the Palatinate or from the mountain glens of Switzerland. The sounds, still understood by Rhineland people, are German with Rhenish softening of gutturals and the gentle move ment from the throat toward the lips-the result of the French influence among us. The literary movement is still alive among us. In Allentown, for instance, Dr. Preston A. Barba's "Pennsylvania Dutch Eck," a com pilation of writings in the dialect, appears in the Morning Call every Saturday and is read in many parts of the United States. In addi tion, "Pumpernickle Bill" (William S. Trox ell), and Lloyd Moll write daily columns of chatter in the dialect for the Call-Chronicle papers. But we are a passing people. "Dutch" in name we shall remain for a long time; "Dutch" in fact we shall be only for the span of life of the present generation. Some years ago I visited the market in York. Not one conversation in the dialect did I hear. At last I started one, and then passers-by stopped to stare at me. It will be better when all of us speak by preference the language spoken by the majority. But when no one any longer says "go the hill up," or when no one confuses his v's and w's, even then I fondly hope that we may read over our gateways: Sweet and pleasant breathe the breezes Round my bothy in the glen; But they waft no words of welcome To the godless and profane.