• Amish Lifestyle is dictated by the ordnung,
the Amish rules of living set forth by each Amish communities church,
therefore making lifestyle and cultural differences between each community,
and, from district to district within each community.
• The largest Amish settlements are in LaGrange County, Indiana; Holmes
County, Ohio; and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
• The Amish do not draw social security, join
the Army, or allow any form of assistance from the government.
• Some Amish communities, and or districts reject education beyond
the eighth grade, particularly subjects that have little practical
use for farm-life.
• When some Amish children enter
adulthood they are expected to make an adult permanent commitment to
the church, thus becoming baptized. If
an Amish child chooses not to become baptized, they are going through
a period known as Rumspringa. Rumspringa, to the Amish, is regarded
as the period in an adolescences life leading up to serious courtship,
which is connected to permanent commitment to the Amish life and church. During
this period is life (months or years) the adolescents are released
from the church and its rules. In some Amish communities those
who do not permanently join the church are shunned. Shunning
is the act of deliberately avoiding or staying away from an individual
• This Amish like to avoid the
use of modern technologies such as electricity, but they certainly
do not regard technology as evil or sin when such use of a modern technology
is seen as a need, rather than vanity. Each
community differs as to which technological items are acceptable.
• Technologies such as the use of 12-volt batteries, electric generators,
gas powered farm equipment, the use of chemical pesticides and GM(Genetically
modified food crops) can be petitioned for acceptance into Amish lifestyle
in many Amish communities.
The Amish speak an unique High
German dialect called Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German, in
addition to English. Sometimes
there are differences in dialect amongst Amish Communities.
• Each Amish community may have a dress code that the community
must follow, which may vary from one community to the next.
• Typically an Amish man will grow a beard after he gets married
or after he is baptized in some communities.
The Amish are affected by various heritable
genetic disorders, which are largely due to the combination of the small
population of Amish and the risk of inbreeding.
• Most Amish do not use automobiles; as a result, the prominent
means of transportation, other than walking, is a horse and buggy. Colors
and styles of buggies differ from one Amish community to the next.
• Generally, the Amish go without electricity, electronic entertainment
(television, radio, video games, etc.), central heating or air conditioning
systems and automobiles.
• The home of an Amish family averages seven children and almost
25% have ten or more children.
• In most Amish communities, the homes are not far apart from each
other allowing close personal contact with parents, siblings, cousins,
aunts, uncles and grandparents.
• Most Amish communities Ordnung, a set of rules governing
Amish lifestyle, touch on such issues as the type of clothing men, women,
girls, and boys are allowed to wear; the color and style of horse and
carriage buggies; the language dialect allowed at home, the workplace
and church; the type of wheels allowed on buggies or farm equipment;
marriages; use of electricity; education and divorce.
• Many Amish babies are born at home with a midwife present
and there usually are no baby showers or christenings.
• Amongst the Amish, the elderly, mentally handicapped and
physically handicapped are cared for by family members and members of
their Amish community.
• In some Amish church districts, an Alms fund is established and
reserved for families in financial need.
• Leisure time for an Amish adult might include going to a wedding
or an auction; reading or writing for Amish newspapers or magazines;
quilting or corresponding with friends and family outside of visiting
reach by a mail system they create.
• Throughout the years, acceptance of which technology is or
is not off-limits has brought about splits amongst the Amish.