Inquiring Minds about the Amish

Happy New Year!

Curious readers, researchers, and "reality" TV producers ask me tons of questions about the Amish. I'm no expert - nobody is - but my daily experiences afford personal, unique insights. A special understanding.

I'm grateful for my fun and funny Amish pals, and former-Amish friends and family! I've been inside Swartzentruber Amish homes, English homes occupied by Swartzentruber Amish, and with those in and out of that life - or society. Or "system" as some formers refer to it. From them and my own observations, I learn volumes about this complex American sub-culture.

Below are three questions I was recently asked:

Ken asked, "Do Amish have locks on their doors?"

Sure! Like every home, locks are present. But not all Amish use the security feature. One family may lock their home when they're off the property, while another locks the doors only at nighttime.

"When growing up my parents left the doors unlocked at night in case someone needed help and could get in the house," related a former Amish.

Ken inquired, "Why type of jokes do they tell or tricks do they do to each other?"

Between our son-in-law, to "sons" and many friends from the Amish, I've laughed my head off at the jokes and tricks they pull on each other. Of course the teens are ornery and some of the tricks they pull on the elders can't be published here.

If you know our Harvey, ask him to tell you about the cigarette butts and the Amish elder.

"Are there Amish of color or Asian descent?" asked Karen.

That's a question I've fielded many times. Yes, on the color, no on Asian descent.

I've been told of young gals who leave, get pregnant, return to Amish, and deliver the baby . . . of color. In this case, the baby is accepted and raised Amish.

A friend of mine observed some Ohio Amish who adopted two children from another race. It'd be interesting to know the backstory.

I like Neil deGrasse Tyson's words, "No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don't ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives." So ask away remembering, the great minds are always learning.

Leave YOUR questions in the Comments section below.

(C)2015, Brenda Nixon.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Katie. Since you lived and left the Amish life - a higher order than Swartzentruber - I value your input. :-) Keep it coming.