Concepts What is Culture?

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Did you know that culture is universal, meaning that all people have a culture; however, it is different culture within communities because of numerous reasons like beliefs, religions, and race. Society cannot exist without developing a shared culture. With that being said, many individuals find the Amish culture very different and unique.

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The Amish roots originated from Europe and due to the torture and deaths the Amish culture had suffered as a result of their strict religion and beliefs, they found refuge in other locations throughout Europe, to include Switzerland, France, Germany, Holland, and Russia; this was known as the protestant reformation. (Amish America,2010)

The Amish is a subculture, there are several groups called “para-Amish” (G.C. Waldrep), they share many characteristics with the Amish, like horse and buggy transportation, plain dress, and the German language. The conflict of the groups compared to the Amish would be their religious beliefs. Furthermore, the Amish culture is different from the mainstream American culture in many ways such as, their food and housing, their life style, and their beliefs.

Amish culture can be considered very reluctant to adopt to the convenience of modern technology. (WIKIPEDIA Amish) They live off the land, they do not eat any processed foods like potato chips or corn flakes. They eat German foods such as, sauerkraut, cabbage and potatoes, home baked breads, eggs, dairy products, grain-based foods, fresh poultry and vegetables grown in their gardens. They are well known for their delicious desserts like shoofly pie, sugar cookies, and schnitz.

At the same time, the Amish usually only drink beverages like coffee, tea, milk, and lemonade. (United States Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch) Furthermore, the housing for the Amish include mostly large farm like homes in which they share with two or three other families. However, their life style is relatively different from the American life style, Most Amish people make a living by cooking foods, making clothes, building homes, fencing, and wood structures to sell for profit, others farm on their own lands and/or family lands.

They speak German or Pennsylvania Dutch. They make their own clothes, the females wear solid colored long dresses with white or black head covers called bonnets, unlike the males who mainly wear plain colored pants with a t-shirt, suspenders, and straw hats. (WIKIPEDIA Amish) Equally important, The Amish operate a one room school, and they do not offer schooling after the eighth grade.

Additionally, teens thirteen to sixteen years of age are encouraged to attend vocational training under supervision of their parents, or teachers, but no other schooling is permitted after that. The Amish teach their youth how to live in the Amish culture so no schooling is needed after sixteen because by then they should know how to do the things to sub stain a successful life.

The boys learn how to work the farms meaning milk cows, grow crops, gather eggs, and so much more or they learn how build things out of wood to sell or use, while the ladies learn how to cook, sew. And how to take care of a child. (Wikipedia Amish) However, when it comes to transportation the Amish have a little different way to get around they use horse and buggy.

The Amish men train the horses to be able to contain a buggy full of people up and down hills and on roadways with the distractions of other vehicles like cars, trucks, and motor cycles. The Amish men also build buggies to sit in so that they can carry their family and protect them from the weather, they hook the horses to the buggies. To my surprise some buggies are even built with lights, horns, and even windshield wipers depending on where the person lives and/or drives.

Consequently, that all plays a role into their beliefs and religion. The Amish have many spiritual beliefs, they are a group of traditionalist Christian fellowships with swiss Anabaptist origins. (Wikipedia Amish) The Amish church membership begins with baptism, baptism is required in order to get married. Once a person is baptized with the church, he or she may marry only within the faith. (Wikipedia Amish)

Once a couple is married the husband will then grow a long beard to represent he is a married man. In church which is held every other Sunday in a members home a Bishop along with several ministers and deacons will stress the importance of their Rural life style. They will go over the rules of the church which includes the prohibitions or limitations of the use of power-lines electricity, telephones, and automobiles, if a member is caught doing things outside the Amish religion they are excommunication and may be shunned, which means no one in the community will talk or help that person they are pretty much on there own. (Wikipedia Amish)

Moreover,, the Amish can easily be picked out of a crowd because of their material culture. Examples of the material culture that the Amish express are homemade dresses, they are long and one solid color , the bonnets the ladies wear, the horse and buggy they ride in, the hair cuts and facial hair of the men and the long hair for woman.

However the non-material culture the Amish express would be there Pennsylvania Dutch language they speak, their belief of baptizing as an adult instead of an infant, the little to no technology they can use, and their belief to not continue their education. In my opinion I respect the fact that they strongly believe in a life with no violence, they seem very family oriented. I believe that the Amish culture love having a honest life living off the land and they are very talented when it comes to the things they can make by hand.

Nevertheless, I experienced culture shock after researching how they can live without electricity and telephones, Furthermore, The Amish indicated cultural lag when they stated that they only make medical decisions based on the bible, the mothers have their children at home instead of in hospitals.

They do not go to doctors they use remedies and scriptures for healing. In conclusion I feel i am like the Amish in some ways because, I believe in god and share some of the Christian beliefs, i also have grown my own produce before. In contrast, I differ from the Amish mainly because I encourage expanding your education and I love the use of technology I would more than likely be lost without my cell phone and car. I also work outside of my family and home and I can freely date any culture or race if I desire. I would have to say I am just simply more independent and free to do as I want.