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Podium Stuff; Disappearing Pennsylvania Dutch

I found this article amusing, boring, and interesting all at once.  I mean the piece is about "podiums."  What a dull topic.  So the Amish make podiums for a high-tech classroom?  Does this REALLY merit a story in Newsday?  The Amish have been doing wood-working for years and this is really just an extension of that.  On the other hand, the piece was interesting in just illustrating how Amish and English can team up to create a business (much like Lovina and I divide duties on the Amish Cook column).  So, if you really want to read about Amish-made podiums click here.

I've commented before how our country goes into these periodic diatribes against people who don't speak English (these days it's stamping out Spanish), but THEN a generation or two passes, times change, and society laments the loss of the very language they once tried to exterminate.  The US government spent a gazillion dollars trying to exterminate the Native Americans and their tongue, but today we wistfully wish their culture had been preserved. Louisiana spent massive resources at one time to assimilate the Cajun French only to today fund programs to preserve the few settlements left where people speak it.   Pennsylvania Dutch/German language speakers were once persecuted and encouraged to abandon their language and culture.  Now with the language virtually vanishing at least one college professor is undertaking an effort to record the dialect before it disappears.  Click here to read. 

Re: Podium Stuff; Disappearing Pennsylvania Dutch

Kevin, Farmingdale U. and StonyBrook U, are two of our colleges here on Long Island, and Newsday is the largest Long Island, NY newspaper. The story is worth a read because the nearest Amish ,or Mennonites for that matter ,are in Lancaster County in PA, two states away!  Long Island is a very sophisticated, high tech area where it seems ironic that the simple living Amish are providing the furnishings for the technology used on campus. It would not be common knowledge for Long Islanders to know that the Amish make furniture nor would they realize that the Amish team up with non Amish to form business alliances. Therefore, the story would be interesting to readers. Regarding the passing of the Pennsylvania Dutch language, I am not sure that was ever taught in the high schools as was its formal partner, German. Yet, as the article reveals, German is not available in most schools having been replaced largely by Spanish classes (or French.) I took five years of German in the days when that language was one of several offered to the student. As education became ridiculously pragmatic, it was determined that Spanish was more "useful"and everything else dispensed with. Susan

Re: Podium Stuff; Disappearing Pennsylvania Dutch


Re: Podium Stuff; Disappearing Pennsylvania Dutch

Ah, Kevin, both links are the same Surprised

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