The Amish

Handout:
23.6.1999

The Amish



Origins:
    Anabaptist movement in the early 16thcentury After 1536: They are called the "Mennonites", because of the leadership of Menno Simons 1693 the Amish are founded by Jacob Amman Early 18thcentury: first amish settlers in Pennsylvania Today live approximately 150 000 Amish people in 22 states of the USA and Ontario, Canada Best known amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.


Amish way of life:
    Completely secluded from the non - Amish world Plain lifestyle:
- Tractors and cars are forbidden
- No telephones allowed, only commonly used pay - phones
- Electricity only from batteries
- Computers are forbidden

very hard work
    Community as a family Amish rules of dressing:
- Women and girls: long sleeves, full skirt, hair as a bun, bonnet
- Men and boys: dark suits, broad trousers with suspenders, beard, no mustache
    Rules are written down in the "Ordnung" Amish school system Importance of the family






Vocabularies:
infant - Säugling
baptize - taufen
worship - Gottesdienst
seclude - absondern
plain - schlicht
sleeve - √Ąrmel
bun - (Haar - )Knoten
bonnet - Haube
mustache - Schnurrbart


The Amish

    Origin: Amish, religious group, who have their roots from the anabaptist movement in Europe in the early 16thcentury In this time it was usual, that only infants get baptized. But the Amish believed, that only Adults should be baptized, because they can confess their belief. Infants can not choose, they got baptized if they want or not. Because adult - baptism was forbidden, they were persecuted and killed by Protestants and Catholics. => they had to flee to the mountains of switzerland and the Alsace From this time on, they were called the "Anabaptists" In 1536 a man, called Menno Simons, joined the anabaptist - movement and became their leader. So the group was called the "Mennonites" In 1693 the swiss bishop Jacob Amman broke away from the mennonite church. His followers were called the "Amish" The Amish and the Mennonites have still the same beliefs concerning baptism and basic bible doctrines. But they differ in their clothes, language and their form of worship In the early 18thcentury the first Amish people settled to Pennsylvania. Today there live about 150000 Amish people in 22 States of the USA and in Ontario, Canada. The probably best known city is Lancaster County, where about 18000 Amish people live In Europe, there are no Amish people any more Amish can be categorized in two groups, the New Order and the Old Order Amish:
The New Order are not as strict as the Old Order. They are allowed to use electricity and other many technological things. For the Old Order it is forbidden.
    The Old Order Amish live completely secluded from the non - Amish world. They have their own towns and communities, where only amish people live. They live without electricity and other modern things:
- Tractors for example are only allowed on their farms for transportation,
but not on their fields. Cars are also forbidden.
- They mustn't have telephones at home. Only commonly used pay - phones
are allowed
- They get their Electricity only from batteries, not from the public utility
companies
- Computers are completely forbidden

Because of this plain lifestyle they are called "Plain People"
    So they have to work very hard:
- work on fields is very hard, because they have to do the whole work only
with the help of horses
- building houses and barns: without cranes
- because no cars, they have to use buggies, that are pulled by horses
    Buggies are typical for Amish But without the help of their neighbours and friends, life wasn't possible for them:
- If a barn burns for example, the community helps to rebuild it.
(No Businesses who make it for them)
- If a person is ill, the neighbours make his work on the fields
=> The community is like a big family
    They have their own rules of dressing:
- Women and girls have to wear long sleeves and a full skirt.
They never cut their hair. They wear their hair as a bun on the back of the
head
On the bun, they wear a bonnet, that is white if they are married and black
if they are not married
- Men and boys have to wear dark suits, broad trousers with suspenders,
black socks and shoes and a broad hat. After marriage, they have to have
a beard, but no mustache
    All the rules are written down in the "Ordnung" An other typical attribute for the Amish is, that they worship at home and not at a church. They do this, because they want to honor their forefathers, who had to worship in secret, because of the persecution in Europe The Amish have their own schools. The pupils have to go to school for only 8 years. They are taught humility, quietness and shunning of technological things. It seems, that their education isn't, but in a test by the U.S. Office of Education the Amish pupils were above the norm, when they were compared to non - Amish pupils. Amish children grow up bilingual, at home they speak German and at school they learn English. After finishing school, they learn to work on their farm and on the fields. Most important element in the life of an Amish is the family
- They live together in one community.
- Family - members are always in contact with each other.
- They are also in contact with relatives who don't live in their community.
    The reason, why these people live like that is, that they esteem the beliefs and way of life of their ancestors.

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