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15 interesting facts about the Amish - one of the most famous religious minorities

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Many residents of megalopolises at least once in their lives wanted to live somewhere in a remote rural area and forget about the bustle of the city, the endless blinking of the laptop screen, mobile phone calls. And someone lives from the very birth without the Internet, without the metro and restaurants, and indeed without electricity and all sorts of benefits of the current society. Amazingly, there are such people. And this is Amish.

Amish is a movement of supporters of Jacob Amman (a cleric from Switzerland who moved to Germany in the 19th century). The course appeared back in 1693, however, due to persecution, the Amish left Europe for America. Today, North America ranks first in the number of Amish. In addition, a number of Amish communities live in Canada. The family is supposed to have about 5-7 children, it is a custom, therefore their number reaches 300 thousand people.

Like any community, they have their own customs and traditions peculiar exclusively to their people. Here are some of them:

1. Bundling is a custom according to which newlyweds are obliged to sleep together for a period of time, but not touch each other. Their bed is double, although with a partition that divides it into two places. Now, this is an unusual phenomenon, however, there is a banding in a form where a lady spends the night in a bag in which her mother places. In the morning, the mother sees that the bag was in the same place and the young man did not touch his wife.

2. Ordnung (“there must be order”) - conditions accepted by the elders for persuasion. These are not only spiritual, but also general civil laws. Their foundation is the Bible.

Everything is done manually or with the help of livestock. Often these are horses. Despite the complexity and painstaking execution, all Amish baked goods are the most appetizing in the states.

4. Clothing and image.

Surprisingly, Amish gloves, sneakers, ties, belts are completely prohibited! The style corresponds to their ideology. Women do not use cosmetics, do not wear jewelry. All dresses should be uniform in color, without buttons, all in one style, so that one woman does not feel greatness and superiority over the other. Even the wedding dress is sewn without excesses so that the very next day it can be put on work.

Men should grow a beard, but mustaches are not allowed by the law. Surprisingly, they do not serve in the army, moreover, the guys never hold a weapon in their hands. Throughout their history, they never fought.

Amishs are forbidden to fly on an airplane, use a computer, radio, take photographs, or wear wedding rings and watches on their hands.

The Amish school is one class (small room) in which children from 7 to 15 years of age study. Their teacher is a girl of about 15, who herself recently completed a course of study. Children are explained solely by what they will need on farms in the future: geometry, botany, zoology.

7. Without electricity.

People of this religion almost do not use electricity. They think that the wires connect them with people from another world, and this objects to their religion. Nevertheless, they use electric current as needed. Refrigerators, cash in stores work, of course, from electricity.

8. Affinity relationships.

Amish from America came from 200 families. No wonder that this caused huge problems with closely related marriages. They have children with genetic diseases, so they die early.

9. Create your own destiny.

Any teenager has a choice: live in a family according to the laws of their religion, or leave her forever, build their own destiny and never see their relatives.

How attractive, unique, sometimes incomprehensible and surprising reality Amish in our opinion. Why are they so popular in today's world? Industrialization, urbanization, engineering - is certainly the engine of progress, but not the generator of happiness. Amish, on the other hand, are far from this technical diversity and feel happier people much more than a native of a big city. Therefore, we are interested in paying attention to such people. They live in a world that is completely different from ours.

Following the letter of the scripture

The Amish literally take everything that is said in the Bible. If it says “be fruitful and multiply,” then so be it. That is why the number of Amish in America doubles every 20 years. While among the main population of the United States the average birth rate does not exceed two children per family, the Amish have 6-7 offspring. Today, approximately 200,000 Amish live in North America.

Given that all North American Amishs prefer to find couples within their community, they are faced with the problem of inbreeding, a closely related incest, which gives rise to a lot of genetic deviations and a high mortality rate among newborns. Understanding the dangers of endogamy, Amishs prohibit marriage between cousins, but union between second cousins ​​is allowed.

Without leaving home

Traditionally, the Amish communities do not build places of worship and conduct all services at home, following in this scripture, where the church is defined not as a building, but as an assembly of people. During the liturgy, which lasts 3 hours, men and women stand apart, listening to the sermon and singing chants in the Germanic Pennsylvania language dialect.

If there are many people gathering in the house where the service is being held, the pastor has to move from room to room in order to bypass all the congregation. By the way, Amish pastors do not undergo special training, as is customary in other churches, but are determined by lot.

Ban on civilization

Amish is an extremely closed community. They do not recognize technical progress, in fact isolating themselves from the benefits of civilization. Ordnung (Amish Life Code) imposes a ban on the use of mains electricity, telephones and computers. Refrigerators and bathrooms are banned in the most conservative communities.

Amishs are not allowed to drive a car, let alone have it, but they can use the bus or train. The traditional form of Amish transport is a horse-drawn cart, but the maximum distance of the journey should not exceed 40 kilometers, since the animal cannot be overloaded.

Amish clothing is also strictly regulated. Only simple attires from natural materials - no sneakers, jeans, belts, gloves, ties, pockets, and even buttons (they are replaced with fasteners or pins).

Only necessary

The Amish and traditional school education are rejected, since, in their opinion, it is overloaded with completely unnecessary disciplines. Their children study in small community schools where only reading, writing and arithmetic are studied.

After the end of the 8th grade, boys and girls receive vocational training, primarily in the field of agriculture, as well as various kinds of crafts. Amish leave only what helps them to survive. Everything else is from the evil one.

Selective violence

The Amish reject any cooperation with the external American community: they refuse to serve in the army, to comply with any order of the authorities or the police. In their own way, interpreting the preaching of Christ, they do not allow themselves to be involved in the judicial system, regarding it as manifestations of violence and aggression.

However, in some cases, within the community, violence is very much encouraged. When children, by demonstrating disobedience, are allowed to curse, swear, or outbursts of anger, they inevitably face corporal punishment.

The main advantage

Amish men follow a strict rule. As soon as they get married, they are obliged to grow a beard - only a beard, but not a mustache. A beard for them is a sacred attribute, and forcibly cutting it off, which can happen during a quarrel between representatives of different families, is equated with blasphemy. Such a crime is punishable by prison.

The fact is that, according to American law, cutting off the beard of the Amish is tantamount to a crime against religious freedoms, and here community representatives are ready to cooperate with the authorities. For example, in 2013, a jury in Ohio sentenced the organizer of the attack to cut off beards to 15 years in prison, while his 15 accomplices received sentences ranging from one to seven years.

Between us board

As a rule, a pair of Amish, who are going to tie the bond of legal marriage, does not have intimate relationships before the wedding. The young may lie in the same bed, but they will be separated from each other with blankets tucked in and the board fitted between them. Sometimes the mother of the bride can sew her child into a canvas bag in which the girl will stay until morning. And so for a month.

Do whatever you want

Another interesting custom among the Amish is "rumspring" (literally "runaway"). In the period from 14 to 16 years, every teenager gets the right to independently explore the outside world, exposing himself to all his temptations. After all, the conscious baptism of the Amish is accepted only at the age of 16 and before that they are not considered full members of the religious community.

Rumspring will not be condemned by its brethren neither for wearing youth clothes, nor for driving a car, nor for sexual promiscuity, nor even for the use of drugs. Moreover, the adolescent has the opportunity to no longer return to the community, but, as a rule, over 90% of the fugitives end up among the Amish.

Do not make an idol

It is curious that Amish children's dolls are devoid of distinctive features - face, hair, fingers, and overall coloring. This is simply explained: the Amish believe that only God has the right to create images of people, even if it is a toy. Faceless dolls form uniformity, which does not allow one toy to look better than another, otherwise there is a desire for vanity.

This can explain the ban on posing for a photo. The Amish believe that photographing is tantamount to breaking the commandment "do not make yourself an idol." However, a photo or video taken in a casual way is allowed by the Amish. Therefore, in the Amish passport we either will not see the photos at all, or there it will be captured in its natural environment, for example, against the background of nature.

1. Origin of the Amish

The term "Amish" comes from the name of Jacob Amman, a Swiss Anabaptist and Mennonite, who fiercely advocated a literal interpretation of the Bible. His ideas caused a split in the church, and the followers of Amman, who had gone with him, became known as the Amish.

4. Faceless dolls

Anyone who sees Amish dolls, knowing nothing about them beforehand, will surely remember a couple of horror films. They simply have no faces. Faceless dolls are supposed to keep people from pride and vanity. Also for a similar reason, the Amish do not play musical instruments, claiming that the instruments are a method of self-expression that will stimulate the development of a sense of pride and superiority.

5. Rumspringa

When the child in the Amish family turns 16 years old, he becomes "rumspringa." For a certain time, he is allowed to go out and do things that are generally prohibited in the Amish community. During this time, the teenager must decide whether he will accept baptism and become a member of the Church Amish or leave the community forever.

7. The role of women in the Amish

The woman in the Amish family is primarily a housewife, whose responsibilities include cooking, housekeeping, and helping neighbors. "In public" the woman, as a rule, follows the example of her husband.

8. Avoiding and weaning

Amish can punish members of their society in two different ways. The first of these is “avoidance”, in which members of the community limit all contact with the offender in order to confound him and point out the erroneousness of his path. A more serious punishment is “weaning.” This is a complete cessation of contact with a person and his expulsion from the community. Even parents should stop contacting their child if he was excommunicated.

12. Education

Amish children study in one-class small schools with community teachers. After completing such primary education, the child begins to receive vocational training (for example, agricultural and carpentry skills) from his family and community members.

15. Go to the Amish faith

Those who want to join the Amish Church will face certain difficulties. First, you need to learn the German dialect spoken by the Pennsylvania Amish (some speak only German), and also abandon modern comforts that the Amish simply do not have. A new convert is settled in an Amish family so that he adapts to their lifestyle. After a sufficient period of acclimatization in the church, a vote is taken on the feasibility of recognizing a potential new member of the community.

And in the continuation of the topic of another people with an interesting story - 15 colorful photos about the life of Gypsies in the 1960s.

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Amish: lifestyle and traditions. Who are Amish?

In today's world there are many unusual communities and communities. People start to get tired of each other and the world around them and try to unite in their interests. Amish - This is one of the fastest growing religious communities today. Amish community refers to anabaptists (in other words, these are Protestants who consciously baptize).

What is the main idea of ​​Amish communities? Since the birth of this movement, the Amish have avoided any contact with the outside world and moral violators in general. Initially, the movement originated thanks to the Mennonites of Germany and Holland, but today the largest community is observed in the United States. The most numerous Amish settlements are found in Ohio and Pennsylvania. You will not believe, but they can be found even in Ukraine! And you know, the increase in numbers is not surprising, because in each family 5 or even more children are born.

What is it about the Amish’s way of life, that more and more people are ready to join them? Their main feature is it is a rejection of modern technology and the benefits of modern society. They are engaged in farming and farming, they themselves create everything that is required for life. Accordingly, they do not pay any taxes and do not receive social support. No Amish will use retirement or insurance.

Amish life is based on "Ordnunge"- a kind of interpretation of the Christian commandments and the Bible. “Ordnung” defines absolutely everything: the style and color of clothes and hats, even the width of a man’s hat must be definite! As well, the color of the dress women.

Amish is forbidden to drive a car, he can only drive a vehicle. In Amish homes there is no electricity, no household appliances and, of course, the Internet. Imagine how our grandmothers lived? Well, about as well live Amish.

However, non-Orthodox Amish are also found among the communities - they violate some canons of life. For example, they can use more or less modern equipment in farming, and even diesel engines. They may even have a phone in a special booth. But the other orders are strictly observed!

The main principle of the Amish - equality and lack of vanity. That is why, all the clothes they have muffled shades and a very simple style. By the way, the clothes are homespun. Women are forbidden to wear jewelry, dye and cut their hair. Men after the wedding stops shaving the beard. Another interesting fact is that during the whole period of the existence of the Amish, their style of clothing has not changed a bit.

From generation to generation, everything goes according to established canons. Children go to school until grade 8, where they learn only the most necessary. By the way, Amish learn German. Upon reaching 15 years of age, teenagers begin their home-springing period - a time when adolescents are given a chance to try a different life.

They can drink, smoke and try on modern clothes away from the community. If a person has decided to leave the community, he is forbidden to return. By the way, 90% of those who left for “separation” return and receive baptism.

Another interesting fact is that the first month of marriage, the bed of the young is divided, and every morning the mother of the bride checks if the husband has encroached on her newly made wife.

This community seems to be stuck outside of time. From year to year, from generation to generation, nothing changes in their lives. So why are they becoming more and more popular? In the cities of America there are markets and shops where only Amish products are sold. By the way, their pastry is considered the most delicious.

It turns out that people are so tired of the daily bustle and struggle for their place under the sun, that they are ready to give up everything and go back to the past!

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