The Ohio Amish People

What makes someone Amish? That is the Million Dollar Question. Well it’s not the clothes, it’s not horse and buggy and it’s not the language. Some say you have to be born into the Amish like it is a race and I can see how people would think that for several reasons. But that’s not it either. The Amish are Amish because it’s their religion and it plays a major role in their lives. Their religion is visible outwardly by their common “plain” clothing, the driving of horse and buggies and their electricity free homes.

Their religion is central in most things that they do and they adhere to the principal of not conforming to the world. They believe that this does two things, it keeps them pure and emphasizes to other people that living for God makes them different.

Home and family are the primary social units of the Amish community and most families have more than two children. The larger family aids in the work and responsibility of the farm and makes for many great times of recreation at home. An Amish couple always welcomes the birth of children with joy, knowing that their heritage of church and community will continue to grow into the future.

The Amish are very close to their extended family as well and all play a role in raising and teaching the children their roles and responsibilities. The girls learn early to do housekeeping chores, cooking and caring for younger siblings. The boys learn to care for the animals, farming skills and some handyman work. Both boys and girls attend school and learn English if they haven’t at home already.

The Amish try to instill the values of working hard and finding satisfaction in getting a task done right. Many large jobs on the farm are tackled together because many hands makes the work load lighter. In addition this working together helps to build the family bonds even stronger.

Amish use the term “English” in referring to anyone who is not Amish. The Amish are very hospitable to people outside of their religion and community and love their neighbors and enemies alike. Because of their culture calling them to be separate they are not always the most outgoing but when engaged in conversation their kindness comes through.