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This page features an introduction to the Amish communities of Ohio.
In American schools today, most elementary lesson plans include a study of the Amish way of life. Shown here (and on the PHOTO QUIZ page): Amish farmland in Ohio.
The Amish (a.k.a. Pennsylvania Dutch), are a Christian denomination of German and Swiss ancestry.
The Amish are characterized by their plain attire, pacifist nature, and lack of modern conveniences. The Amish are divided into fellowships consisting of geographical districts or congregations.
The rules of the church must be observed by every member. These rules include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones and automobiles, as well as strict regulations on clothing.
Voluntarily separated from mainstream society, the Amish do not join the military or accept any form of financial assistance from the government, including social security.
Amish people speak a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch, and kids learn English in community schools.
The Amish do not educate their children past the eighth grade, believing that the basic knowledge offered up to that point is sufficient to prepare one for the Amish lifestyle.
Amish schools are usually one-room schoolhouses whose teachers are young unmarried women from the Amish community.
The typical Amish lifestyle includes very little tobacco or alcohol use, and a very limited number of sexual partners.
The Amish also tend to get more exercise than do people who live among modern conveniences.
Although the Amish are at an increased risk for a number of genetic disorders, the Amish population overall seems to be healthier than the general population, probably due to clean living habits.
There are an estimated 250,000 Old Order Amish people in the United States today. They live mainly in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New York.
Ohio has the largest Amish population of any state in the nation.
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