The Amish is a group of Christian church fellowships related to but different from the Mennonite churches with home they share Swiss Anabaptist (Re-Baptism) origin. The followers are known for their simple living, slowness of pace, plain clothing and they refuse to use many of the modern day technology.
The Amish movement started in Switzerland by Jacob Amman a Swiss Mennonite leader in the sixteenth century. They opposed the union of church and state and infant baptism. They only baptize people at about the age of 18 in the time when adult baptism was considered a crime. They migrated from Europe where they were religiously persecuted and settled in America in communities known as Amish Country and mainly speak Pennsylvania Dutch along with some dialect of Swiss German.
The largest Amish settlements are found in Holmes County in Ohio, Lancaster County in Pennsylvania and Elkhart and LaGrange counties in Indiana.Lancaster County is famed as the oldest Amish settlement in America. Thousands of Amish still live the old way with no electricity, automobiles or private telephones lines; abstain from all sort fancy living.
Visiting an Amish Community is like taking a walk through history where horse carriages and bicycles are the common means of transportation. All the surroundings are very simple, the clothing, farmhouses all around, these little boutiques, quiltsmuseum and restaurants. It is a perfect getaway for whoever wants to relax and enjoy a care free time away from the city buzz.
Family is the most important unit in the Amish Community.Children prefer to enjoy activities in the house and around the farm rather going away from the home to parks or theaters. Large families are preferred and considered a gift from God. The Amish do not send their children to school believing the Community is a school itself and so they do not need certificates. Therefore, they suffer no unemployment.
In pop culture the Amish Country is represented as a rural place where they use buggies and horses for transportation, one big family lives in a farmhouse with a barn yard, men have beards and dressed in black hats and plain-cut trousers and women wear bonnets and ankle length dresses, which they actually do in real life. The Amish culture influenced the media and literature notably. The Amish belief emphasizes hard work, modesty and religion. They make all their decisions regarding health, education and society based on the Bible. They practically avoid any technology believing it will destroy family ties and community traditions.
Nowadays the Amish communities are threatened by the pressures of modern world. Many of them may suffer from genetic disorders and other health problems closed groups have. Also, there is a conflict regarding education as the Amish do not pass their children further than grade 8 and oppose high education and therefore they are getting more isolated from the outer world. Child treatment is also questioned within the Amish household as child labor laws are threatening their way of life.