Three of the Main Components of Amish Life

The Amish people live a life that has very specific guidelines. These rules make it clear what being Amish means. Cultural norms are similar from community to community. There are 3 components of Amish Culture. The length of the hair, manner of dress and even the style of the buggies they ride in are clearly defined.
The rules are different in each community and can vary widely. For example, some drive automobiles, while others drive only a horse and buggy. Some are so strict that battery-powered lights are forbidden.
Garments are made at home in simple style. These clothes are supposed to make the people humble and distinguish them from the general population. The solid dark color dresses have long sleeves, full skirts and women also wear a cape and apron.
Hairstyles are either a bun or a braid, covered by a small white cap. Some wear a black bonnet. They wear black stockings and black shoes. They are not allowed to cut their hair. Some orders have such a strict Ordnung that even the length of the dresses they wear is specified. Jewelry is not allowed.
The menfolk wear plain suits that are straight cut, and worn with suspenders. They do not have collars or lapels on the jackets and do not have pockets in the trousers. Sweaters, gloves, ties and belts are not allowed. The clothing of the men and women lack style and color. Not only colors, but patterns are forbidden in the material clothes are made of. No ornamentation, or even zippers are used in the garments.
The family life is of primary importance in the culture. The work done by the parents is gender specific. Families are often large with up to ten children. There is no marriage allowed with non Amish, and there is no divorce. They speak German at home, but, the children speak English in school. Children are taught in a primitive schoolhouse and only through eighth grade.
Humility, lack of vanity and the wife being subservient to the husband is a part of their culture. The man is considered the head of the household, with unquestionable authority. He is required to protect the wife and provide for the family. Religious practices are strictly adhered to and bind the community together.
Technological advances are not acceptable in many, if not most, of the sects. They feel that electricity, cars and even tractors for farming weaken the family. They would not allow television as it would lead to temptation. The more lenient sects do use telephones. However, one phone is usually shared by the entire community. Electricity is used for heating in some communities. It is usually generated by windmills. These things are only allowed if the Ordnung ruling the sect does not forbid them. Slowly, modern technology is filtering in to the more modern Amish communities.

No comments:

Post a Comment