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Their language is a German dialect called Pennsylvania Dutch, and religious services are held in the homes of community members – not in churches. Farming is their preferred occupation, although they have diversified into small businesses, such as furniture and leather goods. Based on the Biblical words, ‘Be ye not conformed to the world,’ the Amish isolate themselves from mainstream society, rejecting social security, public education, technology and automobiles (Boeree, n.d.). Separation of the State and church, a literal interpretation of the Bible, non-violence, separation from the world, distinct appearance and clothing, and strict adherence to the ‘Ordnung,’ or oral tradition of rules, are characteristic, unique Amish beliefs (Robinson, 2005). Devotion to community and family is the hallmark of the Amish. The welfare of the community supersedes individual interests. As the family is the center of the Amish community, marriage is a significant step in life, and is governed by several rules and traditional rituals. Amish marriages demonstrate the societal functions of establishing stable relationships, regulating sexual division of labor, and providing for the needs of the children.
Amish marriages are directed towards the establishment of permanent relationships between a man and a woman. This is to ensure the stability of the community. As such, marriage is linked with group identity and culture. It is a part of the need to strengthen community ties. This attempt to create stable unions, in accordance with the social regulations which govern their sect, mandates that Amish marriages are governed by various strictures. These rituals strengthen the feeling of identity and sense of belonging to the community. In order to maintain the isolation of the community from outside culture, marriages outside the faith are not permitted. Consanguineous marriage is not encouraged. In furtherance of group unity, all Amish marriages
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