Date: Aug 9, 2016
About the Amish Culture: Six Social Courtesies
By Tammy Tilley
This post originally appeared on visitshipshewana.org.
LaGrange County and Shipshewana, Indiana are home to the third largest Amish community in the nation. This community’s simple way of life is the reason many people visit our area—to observe, learn about, pay tribute to, and purchase items from the Amish.
With the travel season upon us, here are a few things to remember as you travel to our area and interact with the Amish:
Six Social Courtesies:
- Upon your arrival, you will notice the roads filled with bikes and buggies; many people will be walking, and kids will be riding pony carts. Please slow down and take extra caution as you travel. Buggies follow the same road rules as vehicles, so they are allowed to be on the road.
- Please don’t honk at the horses pulling buggies. The sound easily could spook the horses.
- The Amish in our area understand the fact that visitors come to get to know them. Within limits, they will visit some with you, but if they choose not to, that’s okay. Even if you don’t get into a conversation with them, they will provide a smile and a nod.
- As part of their religious heritage, Amish believe photographs are “graven images,” so please do not take photos of their faces…grown-ups or children. It’s tempting, we know, but please honor their culture by not taking photographs.
- DO stop in at their home businesses on the Amish backroads. Many of these businesses help sustain the Amish way of life. You’ll see many signs on our county roads advertising these small “cottage businesses.” When you see a sign, you’re automatically invited to stop in; you’ll be welcomed.
- Most shops are closed on Sunday so the Amish can honor the Sabbath with a day of rest and spend uninterrupted time with their family. Plan your schedule accordingly.