April 1, 2014
Transition to Adulthood
I believe that there are many rites of passages that are true tests of children’s maturity and that allow them to transition from being a child to being an adult. Some of these rites of passage are displayed in the Amish community and in the Jewish faith. The Amish practice Rumspringa and the Jewish partake in the ritual of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs.
The Amish practice Rumspringa, a tradition in which they send their children nearing adulthood out into the world for forty eight hours to experience everything that they have been missing in the Amish community. The children go out and dress like normal teens and party and travel out to deserted barns and begin partying and seeing what the world outside of their community has to offer. The kids use cell phones and they read magazines and partake in other activities forbidden by the Amish community. At the parties they play music and sing and dance and enjoy each other’s company. Once the forty eight hours are up the kids gather themselves and head home for rest before the work day. Some of the kids however, decide that they enjoy life outside of the Amish community more and so they decide to leave their community behind and travel out into the world in search of success. The reason that Rumspringa is a legitimate rite of passage is that it does not force children to conform to a certain belief but rather gives them the freedom to make their own path in life. Overall, Rumspringa is highly successful and has a 90% retention rate, meaning that 90% of the children that partake in Rumspringa return to join the Amish church. Rumspringa represents the idea that others cannot force someone to follow a specific path but rather all people must find their own way in life.
The Quinceanera is a Mexican tradition that allows girls of age fourteen or fifteen to become women. It is believed to be a sexual coming of age for girls as...