Amish Culture - An Overview of Community by primusboy


									Amish Culture - An Overview of Community, Religion & Technology
If you visit the areas of Holmes County, Ohio, Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania and LaGrange, Indiana you will find the largest settlements
of Amish people in the United States. The Amish present a picture of
strict culture and an attitude that is not conducive to compromise
especially with the more modern and worldly culture that surrounds them.
Many people believe that the Amish are Amish because of their religion.
This is not so. The Amish are Amish because of Ordnung. This is the oral
traditions passed down from generation to generation that are a set of
behaviors and guidelines by which they live their lives.
This varies depending on the community but it regulates things such as
dress, marriage and dating, the roles of both man and woman in the
household and the community as well as how much modern technology is
acceptable. The Amish believe that all people are equal in the eyes of
God and that all things are for His glory and no other purpose. As a
result things that would cause vanity, egotism and other undesirable
emotions and behaviors are strictly avoided. It is because of this that
the Amish dress and live simply. Their homes are warm but plain,
transportation is serviceable and their work ethic is unparalleled.
Children and family are the focus of the community. They believe that
family is essential. New additions are welcomed with joy and considered
to be the gifts that they are. The older generations are cared for in the
home often in their own apartments that built as additions to the main
home. This allows them to be near family, be cared for if necessary but
still maintain an independent lifestyle.
Unlike many inheritance based communities it is not the eldest that
inherits the family farm, it is usually the youngest. The father of the
family will provide for his sons by helping them to start farms of their
own or cottage businesses. The community itself helps to build homes,
barns, the community has insurance as a whole and all contribute in the
face of an emergency.
It is true that the Amish are a religious based community. They have
their origins first in the Catholic Church and in 1517 with the
Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptists were formed shortly afterwards. A
man by the name of Menno Simons, a Dutch Catholic priest, brought
together the Anabaptist fellowships and formed the Mennonites. The
Mennonites later splintered over the topic of shunning and the Amish are
formed under Jacob Amman. Because of the church's ruthless hunting of
protestant groups during the reformation, the Amish and Mennonites found
shelter by meeting in homes rather than churches and found refuge in
Switzerland and Southern Germany. They moved to Pennsylvania on the
invitation of William Penn who offered religious freedom in his
Pennsylvania colony.
The Amish also avoid modern technology. Everything is looked at not just
on the impact it will have on an individual but on the community as a
whole. These items are judged on the basis of what will it do to the
community, will it divide close personal relationship, will it have a
negative impact on the community itself each piece of technology is
looked at in this manner. This is why some communities allow the use of
certain types of technology for certain field of work such as generators
to run mills. They are only used for the saws necessary to create the
wood pieces for furniture quickly and for nothing else. It's this type of
dedication and discipline to their traditions that make the Amish a
unique and enduring people.
Leon Tuberman owns and operates Barn Furniture Mart, a furniture store
specializing in heirloom quality Amish furniture in various style such as
Arts & Crafts, Mission, Shaker, Traditional and Country. The Barn offers
solid oak, maple, mahogany, pine and cherry furniture for ever room in
your home. In addition, they also offer home office furniture such as
file cabinets, mission bookcases and desks.

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