“Rumspringa” : The Devil in Disguise

The Amish community follows a very strict lifestyle and almost cut off from the world. If you are part of it, you will not be able to see the shadow of a mobile phone or even a car. But at some point in their lives, the amish have the opportunity to taste modernity at a very specific event : “Rumspringa”.

But first, what is “Rumspringa” ?

“Rumspringa” is a test period  who allows the Amish teenagers, between 16 et 17 years old, to go and see the outside world. When they come back home, after a period between 18 months and 2 years, they have to make a choice : staying Amish or leaving the community.

This decision is very painful for the Amish teenagers. They make all their childhood memories in this community. But sometimes what they seen and experienced in the outside world was like a revelation for them. And even if their childhood in this community remains a good memory for them, their adolescence is quite different. They are more easily subjected to the remarks of the other members. This feeling of being observed day and night in his slightest acts and gestures can be stifling and impels them not to stay Amish.

For some the answer is clear: they are staying Amish. Leaving family and friends is too difficult for them. Then what will they do in the outside world ? They have everything to live well already here. For others, making a choice is a little more complicated. They are assisted in their decision by others advising them. But in the end, is that really their own choice ? And finally we have those who prefer to leave. They probably thought that working in the Amish community by being farmers or barn builders is less rewarding than being engineers in the outside world.

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