The Amish are known for being simple, plain, religious and old fashioned people. All these principles unite them and keep them as a tight knit community. But there are different communities within the Amish community. Acceptance of technology contribute greatly to the Amish forming new communities. Still Amish, but just a different type. However, differences in approach to other lifestyle practices and traditions also result in the Amish forming various sub- groups and communities. Here are a few.
While all Amish groups believe in shunning, different groups approach it in different ways. Shunning is the act of purging members from the community who openly sin against church and community doctrines. They are excommunicated to maintain the purity of the church and community, and also to push them to realize their wrong ways, repent and rejoin the church. Some communities are very quick to shun, while some communities are slower to take action with shunning.
It is a rule and tradition for Amish people to dress plain and simple. But there are differences among the communities. You will find that in some communities bright colours are not allowed. And bright colours, or maybe, even fabric with patterns are allowed in some Amish communities. Most outsiders believe that Amish women are not allowed to wear buttons. This is true for some, but not all Amish women.
In different communities, you will notice different buggy colours and even styles too. There are 5 main buggy colours among the Amish people. Black is the most common. But you will also notice that there are some communities with different colours such as white, yellow, gray and brown.
Most Amish buildings and homes have white exteriors. But that is just not so for all communities. Some Amish buildings, like barns are even painted red. Some homes are log cabins and some home have painted interiors with warm colours. You will even find that not all Amish families use an outhouse. Yes, some do have indoor bathrooms.
Bottom line- The Amish live very different from regular society and share similar beliefs and traditions through out their many different communities that are quite similar. But what you see in one or even a few Amish communities, may not be what goes for all Amish communities.
Photo By Lee Jay Stoltzfus Via Flickr