Our lifestyles keep evolving at a scary speed, with all the facilities we have, life is becoming easier than ever before. However, such progress brings new challenges such as psychological issues that are mainly a result of today’s increasing globalization and digitalization. People nowadays are thinking of adopting a minimalist mindset to deal with life and consider life in the countryside the best option. Did you know that there are people who adopt this lifestyle for a long time? Those are Amish people.
Facts about the Amish people are rare since they do not open up to the world nor do they like to take pictures. Through this article, We will find out more about Amish people.
Who are the Amish? History of the Amish.
The Amish (also called “Old Order Amish” or “Simple People”) comprise numerous religiously and culturally isolated communities with distinct religious and lifestyle customs based on conservative Christian beliefs. The Amish have their roots in the Mennonite community. Mennonites were part of the early Anabaptist movement in Europe, which took place at the time of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptists believed that only adults who had confessed their faith should be baptized and that they should remain separate from the larger society. Many early Anabaptists were put to death as heretics by both Catholics and Protestants, and many others fled to the mountains of Switzerland and southern Germany. Here began the Amish tradition of farming and holding their worship services in homes rather than churches.
The Amish originated in 1693 when a Swiss bishop named Jacob Amman and his followers broke from the Mennonite Church in an attempt to restore some of the early practices of the Mennonites. Amman had been an elder or bishop among the Swiss Brethren (Mennonite). Amman advocated a strong view on shunning (or the ban, which is a disassociation with members of the community who do not conform to the rules of the community–a form of discipline). The Amish and Mennonite churches still share the same beliefs concerning baptism, non-resistance, and basic Bible doctrines. They differ in matters of dress, technology, language, form of worship, and interpretation of the Bible.
More than 300,000 Amish currently reside in the United States and Canada, distributed in 500 different settlements within 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The largest concentrations of Amish are located in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
What are the Amish beliefs?
-The Amish repudiate worldly conveniences, endorsing simplicity, productivity, accountability, group solidarity, peaceful living, and social responsibility. They have a strong respect for elders. Family and community authority resides in elder males of each family and church.
At home, Amish families primarily speak Pennsylvania Dutch, a dialect originating from Palatine German. English is their second language and is only learned at school. Thus, preschool-age children are unlikely to understand English. Non-Amish outsiders are called “English.”
-Amish adults and children tend to appear stoic. They may refrain from complaints of pain, perhaps because of greater pain tolerance or simply a stoic attitude. Amish families generally will avoid courts and are unlikely to initiate lawsuits. Children are taught obedience and strict discipline and are usually very well-behaved in public. Amish families avoid public displays of affection, exhibiting limited hugging, kissing, or terms of endearment, and thus may appear very reserved to non-Amish observers. The elderly are well-cared for, often cohabitating with younger generations; elder neglect is very rare. In a crisis, the Amish will often move head-on toward discomfort, after their belief in personal responsibility and faith that outcomes are in God’s hands.
While the early Anabaptists were concerned with the individual freedom of each believer, they also believed that it was important that the believer was solidly rooted in the community of faith. The Amish believe that faith finds expression in the way one treats one’s neighbors, service and mutual accountability.
-The Amish believe that Jesus set an example in putting others before himself to the extent that he denied his own selfish desires. The Amish model this attitude and lifestyle.
Amish community and lifestyle.
The congregation abides by a set of religious and community regulations called the “Ordnung” (German “order”). This code of standards is mostly unwritten, varies somewhat between districts,3 and stresses simplicity, nonconformity with the world, and a redemptive lifestyle. Common rules include long beards for married men, no mustaches, black hats with brims, suspenders instead of belts, long dresses, solid colors, kapps (head coverings) for female members, no jewelry, no use of public electricity, no televisions, horse-and-buggies rather than automobiles, and no contraception.13 Adults refrain from posing for photographs, although this restriction is more relaxed regarding children. Marriage is allowed only within the Amish, and divorce is forbidden.
Deviation from these rules can result in banning (shunning; ex-communication) from the church. Together, these rules are not simply a means of “living in the past” but rather comprise a consciously derived set of community standards and norms specifically chosen to achieve their goal of separateness from the outside world. There is much diversity among Amish districts and settlements; each district determines its own rules. Modern ideas and technologies are evaluated carefully, and some are integrated piecemeal into their culture, depending on the balance of perceived benefit versus the potential threat to community practices and ideals.
Amish society is generally patriarchal. Husbands are responsible for farming or other occupation. Wives are responsible for household affairs, including cooking, cleaning, canning, sewing, and child-rearing. Although there are clear gender roles, husbands and wives consult each other frequently. The most common occupations are farming and farm-related occupations, including carpentry, carriage-making, and blacksmithing. However, modern agricultural economics are compelling new occupations in many settlements: shopkeeping, furniture-making, locksmithing, dry goods sales, plumbing, and manufacturing.
In child-rearing, obedience is stressed. Formal education, taught by Amish women in 1- or 2-room schoolhouses, focuses on reading, writing, arithmetic, agrarian activities, and individual responsibility. Amish communities assert a government exemption from education laws; in most Amish communities, formal schooling is mandated only through the eighth grade. Vocational training ensues, with boys apprenticing at farms or shops and girls learning domestic activities.17 Each Amish individual upon attaining adulthood specifically and knowingly chooses to be baptized as a full adult church member.
Amish people tend to appear very stoic and advocate self-sufficiency, rejecting government aid, insurance, public schools, the military, and public courts The Amish diet is high in carbohydrates and fats, featuring potatoes, noodles, gravies, pastries, fried foods, and pies, with many items heavily sweetened. Canning, preserving, and home gardening are integral to Amish cooking, as most food production and preparation remain at home.