Because the Amish are so different from most Americans today, many people wonder if the Amish people from a foreign country? The answer to that question is “Yes and no.” The ancestors of nearly all of the Amish in America were here before the American Revolution. So in one sense, the Amish people are more American than the vast majority of U. S. citizens. After all, how many of us have ancestors who settled in America decades before the American Revolution?
However, in some aspects, the Amish people bear some resemblances to new immigrants from a foreign land. Except for a few American converts, almost all of the Amish are from Switzerland and the Palatinate region of southwest Germany. Although they have been in the United States for centuries, they still speak low German, referred to in the States as “Pennsylvania Dutch.” To be sure, virtually all Amish are bilingual and can speak fluent English. But their preferred tongue is Pennsylvania Dutch. This is the language in which they hold their church services and the language they speak among themselves.
In addition, the Amish people only marry among themselves. So instead of becoming part of the great Melting Pot of America, most Amish are still ethnic Swiss or German. Furthermore, some of the customs that make the Amish way of life unique are old customs their ancestors brought over with them from Switzerland and Germany.
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