Passing on Amish Heritage (part 1)
It often seems that in today's busy and complicated world, tradition and heritage are becoming lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of our daily lives. As people spread across the country and family members move far away, the handing down of family beliefs, values, and traditions have slowly disappear from our lives over time. Many people have never even met their extended relatives these days, let alone have an understanding of what their family's long held traditions are. This is an unfortunate byproduct of mobility and modernization that has made our world technologically advanced, yet is slowly causing us to become disconnected with our past.
There is an exception to this trend, however…the Amish communities that are still thriving today, even in the midst of the ever encroaching modern world. The Amish and have been fighting to hold on to their traditions, heritage, and way of life for hundreds of years and they are perhaps the most success at it. They ardently hold on to and pass down their strongly held beliefs and way of life as they deny most of what the modern world has to offer. As a result, they keep close ties to family members, church values, and the traditional way of life that many other communities are losing touch with.
The ability of the Amish to remain simple and avoid the ever increasing modern conveniences of the world is mostly due to their strict rules, religious convictions, and daily rituals that keep them directly connected to each member of the Amish community and church as a whole. Their overall beliefs and daily routines remain largely unchanged from the way the Amish chose and set out to live their lives several hundred years ago in Europe. This has been accomplished by passing on their heritage, traditions, and beliefs from generation to generation, not just in general, but on a nearly daily basis. Everything from the way they dress, to the way they speak, to the way they plow the fields, to the way they pray is strictly adhered to by following a set list of rules and regulations that are passed down to every member of the family.
These rules of the Amish come from what is known as the Ordnung. The Ordnung is what tells every Amish how they should dress, act, and live their daily lives in order to stay true to their Amish heritage. There is a written Ordnung that provides the Amish with their basic religious beliefs that were developed by the original founders of the Amish church in the 1500s. There is also an unwritten Ordnung that gives each Amish community the general guidelines that they are required to follow in everyday situations. These rules can change over time as more and more modern-day situations face the Amish and threaten to unbalance their very ordered and regulated lives.
Some of the traditions that the Amish have passed on to their children for generations include the avoidance of the lures of the outside world, the traditional style of plain and simple dress, and self-sufficiency through hard work and entrepreneurial endeavors. Avoiding modern society and the technologies that come with it are what make the Amish so unique and famous around the world. The Amish believe that the Bible tells them to separate themselves from the evils of the outside world because these worldly things only cause people to move farther away from God. They avoid or completely restrict the use of electricity, automobiles, television, movies, or the pursuit of higher education in order to devote their lives and focus on pleasing God in hopes of being allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Passing on Amish Heritage (part 2)