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Those Swimming Amish

Lovina's column this week talks about how she is sending her children to swimming lessons for the second summer.  There were a spate of drowning accidents in her local Amish community last year so the church made swimming lessons available for children.  This is a very progressive, proactive approach not found in every Amish community.  I think it's great since swimming can prevent many water accidents.  The question always seems to arise, natural human curiosity, I suppose: what kind of bathing suits do the Amish wear?   Speaking generally, Amish boys will just wearing regular swim trunks like any other child his age.  Girls will heed to the Amish culture of modesty and wear something that covers most of them, a one-piece suit with maybe a billowing skirt...You'll see these suits sometimes in department stores.   Adult Amish men, if they were to swim at a swimming hole, would just swim shirtless like any other guy, with women swimming in the same type of full coverage suit that girls would wear.  An exception to the "modesty clause" might be a youth in the throes of "rumspringa", but I won't even go there.  The Amish community in Pinecraft, Florida is near the Gulf of Mexico.  It's not uncommon to see Amish women in their long dresses walking into the water to maybe ankle deep depth.   By and large, swimming is not a hugely popular form of recreation among the Amish probably because of inherent conflicts with the church's emphasis on modesty.


Re: Those Swimming Amish

This always confuses me as to water. Victorian suits that almost promise no enjoyment of swimming/freedom. Maybe that's the point, it's just for cooling off, but, swimming actually demands no baggage.

I just watched South Pacific on DVD. Other than high waists, those nurses wore hot pants, lol.

I have some silly pics of my Uncle that I never met, snoozing it up with girls in the 30's/early 40's at the beach. No point, just wanted to say...well, yeah, we have been a bad culture..to the Amish. BUT, to enjoy swimming, gotta get rid of the clothing.

Re: Those Swimming Amish

Well, I don't disagree....and, as noted, I think the reason swimming isn't a wildly popular form of recreation among the Amish is that there is an inherent conflict with their culture's built-in modesty.....That said, what Amish do at the privacy of a private swimming hole...no clue....although my guess is that even at the most private swimming holes you would not witness the vast majority of any Amish participating in skinning-dipping outings.  Modesty is just too ingrained in their way of life...

dcharrison's picture
Re: Those Swimming Amish

We only swam in rivers or lakes when I was growing up and we all, boys & girls, just wore older clothes.  Girls dresses and boys their jeans or pants & a shirt.

Cindy/KS

Re: Those Swimming Amish

My O.O.Mennonite friend's daughters wear an old dress when they go swimming. Their group is not allowed to wear bathing suits. They love to devise homemade water slides and they cool off with these.  There are some Mennonite groups who wear skirted suits, but I never saw Pennsylvania Amish wear suits of any kind. Their women would also go in the water with a dress. Like you said, though, swimming among adults is not a usual recreation. and certainly not with mixed genders. Susan

KJuneBug's picture
Re: Those Swimming Amish

My girls wear skirted suits from lands End.  They are made in fun colors and have skirts, that usually don't hinder the swimming. 

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