Not a lot is commonly known about the Amish beside some obvious facts, like the fact that they keep to themselves and their traditional dress sets them apart from non-Amish folk. However, this group of traditionalist Christians have a fascinating history that traces back to the 1600’s in Switzerland. In the US, the largest concentration of Amish live in Pennsylvania, where they are known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, which is also the language they speak amongst themselves. Read on to learn more about their history, traditions, and culture.
There are two schisms that originated in Switzerland: those who followed Jakob Ammann who would become the Old Order Amish, better known as Amish, and the second who became the Amish Mennonites. The latter don’t refrain from using motor cars, but the Old Order Amish held on more tightly to traditional customs, and so they use horse driven buggys instead of motor vehicles.
You might associate long but neatly trimmed beards when you think of Amish men. They grow these beards in order to symbolize marital status and manhood. These beards are also meant to symbolize humility. Interestingly, they are not allowed to grow mustaches, as these are associated with the military and the Amish are strictly against joining any sort of military.