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Religion - Referat

The Amish People

- religious group
- live in settlements in 22 US-states & Ontario, Canada
- are Pennsylvania Dutch (natives of Central Penn., mainly German background, also Welsh, English, Swiss, Scottish & French ancestry)

1. Origin

- roots in the mennonite community; part of Anabaptist movement in Europe at the time of Reformation (Anab. believe that only adults who had confessed their faith should be babtised + should remain from the larger society)
- many Anab. killed by Catholics& Protestants or fled to mountains in Switzerland & Germany; begin of the amish tradition of farming
- 1536: a young catholic priest from Holland (Menno Simons) joined Anab. movement; his writings & leadership united many Anab.; Mennonites
- 1693: Swiss bishop (Jakob Ammann) broke from Menn. church; followers called "Amish”
- still a lot in common
- both settled in Penn. to find rel. peace
- first sizable group of Amish arrived in Lancaster County in the 1730ies

- Amish divided in many groups; about 134.000 Amish adults (children don' t count because not babtized)
- biggest Amish community: Lancaster, Penn.; about 18.000 people
- 5 main groups: Old Order, New Order, Andy Weaver, Swartzentruber, Beachy Amish
- differences in daily life & practice of religion
· New Order: allowed to use electricity& telephones and modern farming machines
· Swartzentruber/Weaver: practice strict shunning, ultra conservative in their use of technology (Weaver allows to use battery lights)
· Old Order: little or no use of technology but allowed to ride in motorized vehicles (train, cars, airplane)
· Beachy Amish: permitt ownership of automobiles, meeting houses are used for worships, English used in ceremonial functions

2. way of life

- strict religious (follow a literal interpretation of the Bible & unwritten set of rules ("Ordnung”) └à parents had no technology, so they also don' t have
- eg: - every 2nd Sunday worship Service
- regulation of wearing clothes
- shunning (excommunication, banning of people who do sth. against the rules; eg forbidden to eat at the same table, do anything with them)
- no using of techniqual eqipment
- no electricity
- prohibition of driving cars
- worships held in homes of members in High German; every 2nd Sunday different home
- after religious service the whole community meets for dinner
- on Sundays: not allowed to work
- say a prayer before every meal
- each church district decides itself what' s forbidden or not
- no cars (driving with horses & buggies), no electricity: heating with gas or kerosine; milking machine ec. with petrol
- use tractors with steel wheels (can' t drive on streets)
- telephones: only public pay phones (only in cases of emergency)
- usually baptized at age of 16
- before baptism: rumspringa time (get to know the real modern world [even drinking, taking drugs…]); decide if they want to go back to their communities; if not: shunning (less than 10% don' t come back)
- after that: choose their partners (when about 20); mostly in singing groups
- both have to be amish & baptized
- wedding dates for the Amish are limited to November and part of
December, when the harvest has been completed and severe winter weather has not yet arrived he man asks his girl to marry him, no diamond (may give her china or a clock)
- some 200 to 400 relatives, friends and church members are invited to the ceremony, which is held in the bride's home & about three-hour long (with singing & sermon)
- honeymoon is spent visiting all their new relatives on the weekends throughout the winter months (collect the majority of their wedding gifts, usually useful items such as dishware, cookware, canned food, tools and household items
- big families; children care for parents when old

3. clothing

- conform, individuality forbidden
- no zippers, buttons, belts; use hooks & eyes
women & girls:
- modest dresses made from solid-coloured fabric with long sleeves & full skirt (not shorter than halfway between knee & floor)
- dresses covered with a cape and apron, fastened with pins or snaps
- never cut hair (wear it in a bun on the back of the head)
- white bonnet: married, black: unmarried
- wedding dress: woman: blue
- no jewelry & make-up
men & boys:
- dark coloured suits, straight cut coats without tapels
- wide trousers, suspenders, solid-coloured shirts, black socks & shoes, black or straw broad-brimmed hats
- no mustaches but beards when married
- à no costume, expression of their faith & humility

4. education

- tought in 1-room-schools through 8th grade by young unmarried woman
- was forbidden by law to leave school after 8th grade; 1972 Supreme Court allowed to limit education of Amish children
- first ev. morning: reading in the Bible (in High German)
- learning English at school but at home speak Penn. Dutch (similar to Pfälzisch)
- school equipment very simple (no standarized books); contents mainly refer to their way of life; no further information about modern life (eg natural science & economical problems)
- youth are given further instructions for later life by parents after graduation

5. work

- mostly farmwork, also carpentry or other businesses
- women: gardening & householding
- main agricultural products: alfalfa, tobacco & corn

Anabaptist - Wiedertäufer solid-coloured fabric - Stoff mit kräftigen Farben
baptize - taufen sleeves - Ärmel
literal - wörtlich bun - (Haar-)Knoten
worship - Gottesdienst suspenders - Hosenträger
zipper - Reißverschluss straw - Stroh
button - Knopf broad-brimmed - breitkrempig
hooks & eyes - Haken & Ösen mustache - Schnurrbart
modest - bescheiden alfalfa - Luzerne
bonnet - Haube sermon - Predigt

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