Amish Courtesies

While working here at the Visitor’s center I have learned that folks often ask questions about our Amish communities and about the Amish way of life.  I thought that it would be fitting to post some basic information here on our blog. You’ll find more information about the Amish on our AmishCountry.org website.

The Amish are private people who choose to keep their lives centered around their faith. Their faith dictates foregoing modern amenities, including electricity, automobiles and telephones. This simple way of life is derived from teachings in the Bible and the Amish desire for an autonomous community.

The Amish can’t pose for photographs or use cameras to capture their images. The Amish believe photographs lead to pride, which threatens the importance of the “community” by calling attention to individuals. Photos that are taken from a distance that do not show their faces may be acceptable but permission should be asked beforehand if possible. Please be courteous and refrain from taking any photos that make people uncomfortable.

I also get questions about seeing inside Amish homes and farms. Like most people, the Amish don’t open their homes to strangers. However, some Amish operate business inside their property. This offers a unique opportunity to visitors. You can check with our website for a listing of local Amish operated businesses. You’ll get a chance to chat in a comfortable environment. More

I’d like to include some quick tips to help Amish Country travelers.

  • When driving (especially at night) watch out for slow moving horse drawn buggies. Avoid honking or startling the horses. This could spell disaster for all involved.  And please do not feed or pet horses that are tied to a hitching rail or harnessed to a buggy.
  • And remember the golden rule. Treat and respect those in the Amish community as you would like to be treated. The Amish are people like you and me who simply choose a different way of life.
  • If you’d like to learn more, Menno-Hof  in Shipshewana tells the Amish and Mennonite story and answers many questions. More.

Are there any Amish businesses in the area that you like to visit and chat with the owners?



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