How Does “Rumspringa” Impact the Cultural and Ethnic Identities of These Individuals?

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  • Topic: Amish, Rumspringa, Devil's Playground
  • Pages : 2 (656 words )
  • Download(s) : 150
  • Published : March 14, 2012
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Rumspringa, defined as “running around” is a time when the Amish youth at the age of 16 decide whether to remain in or leave their community and faith. During this time teens area allowed to enter and lead a life in the “English” world and participate in partying, drinking, illegal drugs and pre-marital sex. During rumpsringa teens are exposed to a myriad of things that they normally would not have been able to in their regular Amish life. This stage of their life highly affects the cultural identity of these young adults. It causes these kids to either want to go back to home and join the Amish church or run from it as far away as possible. They are exposed to all the things they would usually in their day to day life are told is a sin or the devils way of living. One of the main things you see some if not all is smoking cigarettes, even the girls while they are still dressed in their Amish cloth. “Cultural group membership is acquired though the guidance of primary caretaker and peer association during out formative years” Toomey and Chung p. 93. This time is part of a bigger problem for the Amish sect as it brings about a mind set of total independence on the part of their youth; something many, especially boys, have difficulty handling appropriately at this young age. In addition, it is viewed by some as "a casual look the other way time" on the part of the Amish parents and other adults. It can be acknowledged that some Amish parents do relax their standards some when their offspring turn 16 and some permit exploration to an extent. However, it is hard to believe any Amish parent would ever tell their 16 year old to go out and experience the "world" as one is led to believe by this documentary. With out the guidance of “primary caretakers”, the Amish parents to guide these youngsters into the right line of cultural identity it starts to cause the lose of cultural identity with the future of the Amish culture as more and more teens start to choose not to go...
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