When They Date
They date like normal people. They just have a really small pool of potential suitors to choose from. The guy who gets the prettiest girl is lucky. The rest just kind of fight over who’s left.
Two In A Carriage
Dating is not a long process. They take the carriage for a ride a couple times. Then, churn some butter together. After that, the church blesses the marriage. The church normally doesn’t take issue with an engagement.
They Live Healthier
They are hard working and healthy eating people. They have lower cancer rates in the community. But they also don’t have cheeseburgers, alcohol, or television.
Part Of The Dating Ritual
Young couples get to sleep together with the blessings of the church. But, they have to wear all their clothes and sleep with a board between them. Plus, they are supposed to spend the night talking about their dreams to one day own a horse and have five children.
Low Tech Lifestyle
It’s like a visit back in time. But, they live without modern conveniences every day. It’s not one of those gimmicks where visitors come in and see what life was like a hundred years ago, then the staff return to their modern homes in the evening.
It’s a formal ceremony that takes a few hours because it’s a big deal to them. They don’t get married and divorced the same year. Don’t mind the microphones. It’s a reenactment.
The Language Of The Peeps
Their worship service is in German as the sign reads, “Be merciful to me, oh God.” But, they speak English when dealing with people outside of their community and they speak another form of German called Pennsylvania Dutch when they talk among themselves on a daily basis.
Their Fashion Sense
They don’t change fashion often. They don’t have trends. They have worn virtually the same ordinary clothes they started out with a hundred years ago and they see no need to update themselves any time soon.
They spend a great deal of time gathered around the same people who attended the wedding. Then, they are off to their wedding night where they can finally see each other in the buff. Only, not so much. Their first night is spent at the bride’s parent’s house.
Beard Without A Mustache
It just doesn’t look right. But, they do it on purpose. Back in the day, the mustache was about the wealthy and the powerful. The Amish try to stay away from that kind of stuff.
It’s a reality that a person can be banished if they don’t follow the rules. Most people walk off into the sunset and try to go on with a normal life. Some crawl back on their hands and knees begging for forgiveness, which can be granted if they shed enough tears.
This looks like a community meeting. But, they do have worship service outside like this. It’s just not a crazy service with snakes and people speaking in tongues like some might imagine. They have a conservative service because they believe that your life speaks for your faith, not how crazy you can get in church.
One Room School
Just like our turn of the century schools, the Amish still educate that way. They don’t educate past grade 8 though. Guys go on to learn a trade and women stay home just like they did until about the 1950s.
A Huge Difference
Mennonites and Amish are not exactly the same. Mennonites are allowed some color in their lives. They can also drive cars and live in somewhat modern homes.
Who They Really Are
In 1693, Jackob Ammann led a division of the Anabapitists in Switzerland. That’s where the name Amish came from. In the early 18th century, they escaped persecution and settled in Pennsylvania where they have remained for the most part.
They don’t just dress in the past. They live in the past. Housewives clean the house and stay in the kitchen. They aren’t even supposed to ask questions.
When they finally get a chance to get down, they get down a lot. It’s evident by how many kids they have because they don’t use birth control. Most couples have at least 5 kids.
Their numbers keep growing. It’s obvious to figure out from the fact that they marry really young and they have so many kids. It’s almost a utopia though with absolutely no poverty, not by their standards.
They are humble in every way. At least, that’s the way they come across to the outside world. They don’t judge or condemn others. But, they might be a little hard on themselves.
They Aren’t Forced To The Lifestyle
They are brought up the Amish way. But, they aren’t forced into anything. If they choose, they are given between the ages of 16 and 24 to make it official by being baptized in the way Christians are baptized.
How Many Are There
You’d be surprised how many are actually here. There are about 300,000 throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. That’s a nice size community even though it’s kind of small when compared to others.
Joining The Military
They have every right to join the military. But, that’s not their way. If they have accepted their way of life as Amish, they have no desire to join and would be banished if they did anyway.
They have building barns down to a science. They can put a barn up in a day while the women make breakfast and lunch. Not sure if dinner is included. But, they are a social bunch. It’s probably how they wind down at the end of the day.
Having Their Picture Taken
One thing to clear up is that they don’t mind having their picture taken. They just don’t like owning pictures of themselves or hanging them on their walls. That to them is a “Graven Image,” going against their religion.
Huge Community Meals
These are a pretty common occurrence. After all, they already have the tables. Why not put them to good use and let the young up-and-comers mingle while the adults take notice of who likes who?
It’s always the kids who are trying to make change. Even though it’s a long and hard process to bring about, it does happen as kids introduce new things to the community and get away with it.
This is not the Bible. Even though they do read and follow the Bible, they have their own manual called the Ordnung. It’s their rules for living that they must follow in addition to the Bible.
The Board In The Bed
They keep the board throughout their marriage. But, some normal marriages adopt a two bed bedroom or go into completely separate rooms. I guess the guy just climbs over the board when he wants some or she climbs over when she’s ready for another kid.
Amish toys are humble as well. They don’t have faces for a reason though. That’s to value the person for who they are and not how they look. It’s a good way to be if you’re not in the fashion industry.