Did you ever hear about the Amish community ? People who lives in an old fashioned way like in the 19th Century ?
In case you never heard about them, let me introduce you to this special community!
Who are the Amish ?
The Amish are Protestants people coming from Swiss Germany. This community migrated in the early 18th century to Pennsylvania. Nowadays, most Amish lives in the U.S. some also lives in settlements in Canada since the 1800s. This community is known for their way of living. In fact, they live as they used to in the 19th century. They refused to use technology like we most do everyday. As an exemple, they don’t use cars or any motorized vehicles but horse-drawn buggies, they generate their own energy thanks to wind power or solar power, etc…
Knowing that they found their origins in Swiss Germany, every Amish can speaks three languages such as German, English and Pennsylvinia Dutch. They live in a simple way, with plain dressing and follow their church and their faith. As they avoid the use of modern technology, they also avoid the contact with non-Amish people. They fear the fact that children could be tempt by the television which sit in others people houses so they usually don’t have non-Amish friends or hang with non-Amish people. In their village, they have their own school but it usually end to high school since high education is discouraged.
Are they totally closed to the outside world ?
Even though Amish people don’t live the way we do, it does not means that they are cut-off of the world. Actually, they do heard about what happened in the world, like the pandemic. And if you were born in an Amish family, it wouldn’t have mean that you would be forced to follow the rules of the community. Actually, when teens are 16-17 years old,, they’ll enter a test period called Rumspringa. During Rumspringa, they are allowed to live outside of their community in order to discover the outside world. They can do whatever they’re not supposed to because of their faith during this period which can last from 18 months to 2 years. The point is, after this period, they can decide if they are staying or not in their community. Nevertheless, most of Amish teens stay in their community.
What is like living in an Amish community ?
In the first place, living in an Amish community means living as in the 19th century. They use the technologies that were used at this period and dress the same way. As an exemple, women cannot wear pants but only dresses. Talking about women, they are homemakers which means they have to look after the household, cook, help the neighbours etc. When they are married, they generally follow thei husband’s lead. About marriage, Amish people are not allowed the marry befor their baptisme which happen between 18 and 22 years old. When they do marry, they must be to another church member.
About work, we could think that as it was in the 19th century, most Amish are working on a farm but in fact they also work in home building, roofing contracting or barn building. Some even are shop owners. Nonetheless, 30% of Amish are farming though.
What about leaving the community ?
As we said before, most Amish stay in their community. Somehow, it happens that Amish people are sent away or reject by their family. Actually, if they don’t respect the community’s rules or if they choose not to follow them, they are sent away. In case of choosing to leave the community after experiencing Rumspringa, even if its a right, children are no longer allowed to see their family because, as we said before, Amish avoid as much as possible contact with non-Amish people.
So is ending this article about the Amish community ! I do hope it allowed you to learn more about them. Thank you for reading !
Anne-Sophie CHAUVET TG3