Cultural Influences on Rite of Passage Beliefs and Rituals
Cultures throughout the world honor the passing from childhood into adulthood with special celebrations and rituals that coincide with religious or social traditions. World civilizations pay homage to this rite of passage differently, ranging from jovial and lighthearted galas to the barbaric rituals frequently associated with remote African tribes. There are also other sects of the population where their youth enter a transitional phase that lasts from months or years, such as the Amish and the Aborigines. Their youth use this time as a period of learning to think and act as adults and for decision making about their future.
Amish or plain people as they are also known migrated from Europe in search of religious freedom. They were originally part of the Mennonite religion and follow many of the same practices today. They are governed by the unwritten rules known as the Ordnung. They live by principles of simplicity, reject arrogance, embrace humility and socialize only within their community and avoid other parts of society as much as possible. Amish children only attend school until they complete 8th grade and higher education is discouraged or forbidden.
At the age of sixteen, Amish teens are given the choice of participating in Rumspringa, a German term that translates into run around in English. During this time Amish adolescents are free to explore life among modern American society. It is believed that at this age that they have reached a maturity level where they can act responsibly as well as having the skills for making rational informed decisions. This time of reflection is for the youths to decide if they want to remain in modern society or return to the Amish community where they are baptized as adults and are expected to follow the church for the rest of their lives without question.
Rumspringa is also a catalyst for Amish teens to socialize and meet prospective...
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