Shipshewana a Crossroads of Past and Present

| 9/17/2015 10:29:00 AM

Country MoonIf Indiana is the crossroads of America, then Shipshewana, Indiana, is the crossroads of past and present. Every Tuesday and Wednesday this little town comes alive with one of the largest flea markets and horse auctions around. Amish buggies, local traffic, UPS trucks and some semi trucks can all be seen sharing the streets of this tiny burg.

Vendors set up their booths and sell their wares to half a million visitors annually. What makes this town unique is that it has managed to offer hand-crafted Amish furniture and their homegrown produce right beside the T-shirts, sunglasses and other wares of the “English” as they refer to anyone outside their culture.

You will even find unique stores and shops that sell items that just can’t be found in many other places. Shopping aside, perhaps the best part of a day spent in Shipshewana is feeling the ambiance where the modern world and a gentle people who have not changed their customs in over a hundred years co-exist in an atmosphere that is strictly “Shipshe.”

Some of the Amish ways seem impractical for this modern world. Often it appears that they choose to live a harder life than need be by rejecting modern technology. However, when you delve into the reasons behind some of their customs, they do begin to make sense, sometimes more so than some of our “English” ones.

One thing I could never understand is why the Amish can ride in cars, use telephones and other modern conveniences, but not own them. Isn’t this contradictory? Either you believe in something or you don’t. Quite the contrary is true. They believe that owning speedy transportation will take them away from family more. When you think about this it makes a lot of sense. When you jump in a car, arrive at your destination in 20 minutes and listen to your favorite tunes on the way, there isn’t much time for actual communication. Now, that same ride in a horse and buggy leaves a lot of time for getting to know what’s on each other’s mind.

Shipshewana, Indiana 

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