Passing on Amish Heritage (part 2)
Along with this idea of avoidance comes the idea of uniformity which binds the Amish people together through a specific set of daily rules they must follow. This includes dressing in a similar manner which keeps their focus on the group rather than the individual. Amish men are known for their wide-brimmed hats, loose-fitting pants, suspenders, black shoes, and white or pastel-colored shirts. Amish women are known for their dark, one-piece dresses, prayer caps, aprons, capes, dark stockings, and lace-up boots. These styles of dress are determined by the Ordnung and are strictly enforced by the church leaders.
Perhaps one of the most important traditions the Amish pass down to their children is the idea of self-sufficiency through hard work using the traditional ways of farming, woodworking, and Amish quilting. While the Amish generally avoid the ways of the outside world, they are somewhat dependent upon it in order to survive. While they grow their own food and make their own clothes, they also thrive as a community by selling their homegrown produce and handmade goods to the tourists and neighboring communities. Fathers teach their sons how to plow the fields or build furniture using the traditional ways their fathers taught them. Rather than tractors with engines, they use tractors with horses to plow the fields. Instead of electric saws and nails, they use hand saws and wooden pegs to construct their handcrafted furniture pieces.
Mothers too pass on their traditional methods of gardening, sewing, and the famous Amish quilting techniques that are sought by collectors around the world. Tending to the family garden without the use of chemicals or other modern methods is handed down to the daughters of the Amish community. The fruits and vegetables that are produced are then canned using traditional methods or made into tasty pies or jams and sold at local markets. Since the Amish have a very specific style of dress, they must sew their own clothing for their families and this skill has been passed on from mother to daughter for generations. The heritage of the Amish quilt has also been passed on to the newest generations of the Amish community. While the Amish are known for their plain and simple ways of life, they have surprisingly embraced the art of Amish quilting and developed it into a style that is recognized throughout the world. Their methods of designing and hand-stitching these gorgeous quilts have been handed down and perfected by Amish women for well over a hundred years.
In the end, these Amish beliefs and traditions have kept the Amish people more closely tied together than any other community of their kind. They hold on to their heritage tightly and rarely deviate from their strictly ordered way of life. As a result, the Amish have managed to remain largely unchanged for centuries and will probably continue in this way for many centuries to come.
Passing on Amish Heritage (part 1)