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Comparing Amish and English Cultures

So Much The Same


I’ve said it before, but I have to say it again, I love looking at the differences in my life and life that the Amish live. It’s so very interesting to see these very large groups of people, living outside of what we consider to be the norm. They live a more simple life. One that, for most of us, would be hard, if not impossible, to adjust to. With all the technological advances in the twenty-first century, the Amish still hold on to the old ways.

One of the reasons that I believe the Amish have survived is the fact that they really do adapt. It may not seem like it since they wear such old-fashioned clothing and drive around in buggies pulled by horses.

But as much as I love the differences and learning about the variances between the English and the Amish, they are not quite as different as many believe.

Ruth has been married to Daniel for several years, they have four children and another on the way. Tonight they are going to an older couple’s house for a marriage counseling session. Several other couples will meet them there to discuss ways to improve their marriages, both emotionally and physically. Just because divorce isn’t allowed, Amish still believe in making the marriage work.

Leah is married with five boys in the house. Like most women both English and Amish, she could use some ‘girl time.’ Now for the English this could mean dinner or a mani/pedi. But the Amish have another name for this. They call it a sister’s day. Sisters, sister-in-laws, and friends get together for this occasion. Sometimes they work, canning or making jelly. Sometimes it’s just about fellowship and being together—just the girls. Other times they may have a cookie exchange. Not so different than many ladies groups at churches all across America.

Now we all know men need their guy’s night. Tonight is that night for Joseph. After finishing his evening milking he gets ready to go. Several of his friends are meeting at another’s house for an evening of singing, snacks, and fellowship. The men may sing as late as eleven at night.

Couples also hang out. Jacob and Rachel usually meet at Tom and Christy’s house. But tonight they are hosting the meeting. They’ll eat, tell stories, and even play board games like Apples to Apples. And yes, maybe even card games.

Becky is over thirty and not married. Long ago she was in a youth group which was filled with like-minded Amish teens of the same age. But that time is long gone. If she were English, she might join one of the dating sites that are so popular right now. But she’s Amish. So she joins a ‘youth group’ made up of other like-minded mature, unmarried Amish adults. One such group in Lancaster is named “the Drifters”. All the youth groups have names. Cute, huh?

Once again, I am even more amazed at the similarities rather than the differences. I mean, an Amish marriage counseling session. Who would have thought?

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Amy Lillard (52 Posts)

Amy Lillard is an award winning author who loves reading romance novels from Amish to contemporary. These two genres meet in her debut novel, Saving Gideon. Born and bred in Mississippi, she now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their son. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached at amylillard@hotmail.com.


  1. Great post! I didn’t realize that the Amish go for marriage counseling with another older couple. How fitting really. Divorce is frowned upon in the Amish communities and they must try harder to work things out. Not so in the English world. Just think, we too have that opportunity if we only wanted to work harder on staying together. (Don’t get me wrong…there are definitely cases where staying together is NOT an option.)

    Judy B

  2. Interesting……thanks for sharing….blessings

  3. Just finished reading Amy’s book, Caroline’s Secret! So good. So it is really fun to see this post today! I will be blogging about it really soon!

  4. Thanks, Cheryl!

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