The Colors of the Amish (part 1)
The Amish are well known for their strict rules and limiting way they choose to live their lives. As the world rushes past them at blinding speeds, the Amish have managed to remain as plain and simple as they began more than 400 years ago. The Amish live by a very rigid and strict set of rules that are set forth in what is called the Ordnung. This book of rules is handed down from one generation to the next and provides each Amish member a specific set of rules that they must abide by in order to remain living in the Amish church and community. The Ordnung outlines how the Amish should live in great detail and includes regulations on everything from the length of a woman's hair to the type of buggy that can be driven to the specific colors that can be used in the way the Amish dress, live and the colors of their Amish quilts.
There are two parts to the Amish Ordnung, the written and the unwritten. The original written Ordnung was written in the late 1500s and included the original regulations that the church leaders drew up in order to form what is now known as the Amish church. This written Ordnung provides the Amish with their basic beliefs and principles which have been handed down through each Amish community through the centuries. These include living apart from the rest of society, being self-sufficient, not belonging to any government, not participating in any wars, and shunning or ignoring fellow Amish who do not follow the rules set forth in the Ordnung.
The unwritten Ordnung deals with the everyday aspects of Amish life. These rules regulate how each Amish is supposed to conduct themselves on a daily basis and can change as modern-day situations evolve and arise as they affect the Amish way of life. Each Amish church or community has their own specific set of unwritten Ordnung rules. This is why you will find differences between the various Amish communities that are strewn throughout the United States and Canada. While stricter communities will not allow the use of cars in any way, more liberal Amish communities will ride in cars if they need to travel longer distances than their buggies can carry them in a reasonable amount of time. These changes to the Ordnung are decided upon by the individual Amish community church leaders and are either adopted or declined depending on their purpose.
The Colors of the Amish (part 2)