I heard an excellent story from a Mennonite friend who grew up Amish that explains many of the things they do because of their culture – being so grounded in tradition.
A young girl was in the kitchen with her mom one Sunday after church while dinner was being prepared. The mom took the ham out of the fridge, cut off a few inches from one end, placed it in the roasting pan, and put it in the hot oven to cook.
The young girl asked “Mom – why did you cut the end of the ham off”, and the mom replied “I’m not sure, dear – that’s what Gramma always did and I learned from her”. Gramma was over that quiet Sunday afternoon so they went into the living room and inquired about the practice.
Gramma’s reply was simple – “because my pan was short”. The Mom cut the ham because that was what they always did, even though her pan could accommodate a larger ham!
Many of the things that the Amish and Mennonites do are thought to be for “religious” or biblical reasons when in fact they are merely tradition. Simply put – they do what they do because “that’s what we’ve always done”. Simple – traditions – and very strong ones at that!