The Amish Lifestyle

The Old Order Amish Mennonite Church was established in the 17th century in Switzerland and Germany. The church follows the teachings of Jakub Ammann, a Mennonite leader. Ammann’s teachings differed from the religious leaders he worshiped with at the time. Because of this, Ammann separated from others who disagreed with his views. He started to advocate for the shunning of people who went against church teachings. Soon after Ammann started following his teachings, Amish communities started popping up in Europe. Countries like Germany, Russia, Holland, and Switzerland started having an Amish presence. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the Amish started immigrating to North America. The first U.S. state the Amish settled into was Pennsylvania. Halfway into the 18th century, the Amish started separating into two groups, the “old-order” and “new-order” Amish. The primary difference between these two groups is how they view technology and social change. The “new-order” Amish accept change and technological advances, but the “old-order” Amish do not. Despite there being two groups, most Amish people consider themselves part of the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church. Today, there are over 250,000 Amish people living in North America. 

The Amish way of life is deeply tied to religion and is very different from how people in the modern world live. According to Brittanica, the Amish value community, family, and tradition. The Amish live much simpler lives than those of us who live in cities. Their simplicity is reflected in their wardrobe. Most of the clothing the Amish wear is made in their communities and is unadorned. Their wardrobes are also uniform, with men and boys wearing hats, suspenders, solid colors, and black shoes. Women wear bonnets, long dresses, and black shoes. There is no accessorizing for Amish women, as jewelry is not accepted. As Brittanica mentions, the Amish uniform hasn’t changed from what they wore as 17th-century peasants. The Amish uniform is just one of the many ways the Amish reject the current culture and preserve their traditions. Instead of using cars, the “Old-order” Amish uses horse-drawn buggies and bicycles. The “new-order” Amish accept modern inventions like electricity and phones, while the “old-order” communities reject the use of electricity and any technology. 

The Amish holidays and religious practices are unique to the religion they follow. In Amish communities, members of the church are baptized from the ages of seventeen and twenty. They celebrate the Holy Communion twice yearly. This celebration honors Jesus’s last supper. Amish communities have church services that are conducted twice a month, typically on Sundays. These services are normally held in community members’ homes or barns, not formal buildings. Since these services are done in homes, the house rotates weekly. Services are held in either High German or Pennsylvania Dutch. Most Amish communities are fluent in English and Pennsylvania Dutch. According to Amish America, church services have an average of over one hundred people. During services, there is singing, praying, and preaching. The affair doesn’t stop after the formal church service. Communities have meals after the service ends. This meal typically included foods like peanut butter, bread, cheese, and vegetables. Most of these foods are locally made and grown in Amish communities. 

This blog post is part of the CIMA law group blog. If you are located in Arizona and are seeking legal services, CIMA law group specializes in Immigration law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and Government Relations. 

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