This summer, because the CSA I am part of, I have been in the company of Amish pretty often. Usually at picnics at their homes/farms. I always have a great time meeting the farmers and the other CSA members.
While I am familiar with some aspects of Amish culture, there is some I am not and have not been able to find the answers to online (it also happens that the CSA management is very busy and understaffed so I am trying to avoid having to ask them to take time out of their day to field my questions).
I have tried to engage some of the Amish women in conversation, young & old, yet I have not had a conversation that last long than a few words. On the other hand, the men seem very open to conversation with all English, men & women. I had originally thought that it would be easier to engage the Amish women than the men, but the women seem to only socialize with each other while the men engaged all English. Would it be rude to initiate a conversation with an Amish woman?
When meeting both men & women I have held back offering my hand to shake to see if they offered theirs. They have not. I know never to offer my hand to Orthodox Jewish men and why, but is there any thing in Amish culture or religion that precludes contact? Would it be seen as rude?