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From Rumspringa to Marriage

'From Rumspringa to Marriage' cover image

From Rumspringa to Marriage

An Excerpt from The Amish

Hopkins Digital Shorts deliver high-quality scholarship and compelling narratives in an abbreviated, electronic format. Whether excerpted from forthcoming or classic backlist titles or developed with newly commissioned content, Hopkins Digital Shorts provide concise introductions to fundamental concepts, defining moments, and influential texts.

Rumspringa, literally translated as "running around," is a time when Amish youth socialize with their peers and are allowed some autonomy before officially joining the church as young adults. It has become one of the most recognized aspects of Amish life, both real and mythologized. During this time they face the two most crucial decisions of their lives: whether to join the church, and if and whom to marry. Rumspringa, an exciting adventure and at times a period of inner turmoil, commences at age sixteen—or seventeen in more traditional groups—and continues until marriage. With few exceptions, adolescents eagerly count the days until they are old enough to join the young folks. In this digital short, Kraybill considers the nuances of this important rite of passage into Amish adulthood.