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Dating among the Amish typically follows a common formula.
A young man will invite a young woman to drive her home in his buggy after a Sunday singing.
, according to one Amishman who has studied numerous portrayals of the adolescent period, is a time when an Amish youth enters into a more formalized social world, interacting with others in his age group in a variety of settings.
Rather than an angst-filled period of existential choice, it is primarily “a time to find a marriage partner”.
At the same time, there must be at least a semblance of free choice in the decision to become Amish.
Amish parents may disapprove of their teens’ behaviors, but do not necessarily exercise authority to prevent some of those behaviors.
A dating couple may exchange letters and see each other mainly on weekends.
In the clip you’ve also got some shots of what appears to be a late-night buggy race.
Youth groups vary in their character—some “plainer” or slower groups are tamer, and even adult-supervised, while other “faster” groups are less conservative in expectations and rules. In the case of the faster groups, this may mean parties or “band hops”, while with the slower, or “singing” groups as they are called in some communities, meet at the home where church service took place for games of volleyball and group singing.
The larger Amish communities may have dozens of youth groups, varying in degree of plainness.
Drug use is generally not widely seen among Amish youth.
Nonetheless, the perception of the youth period as a hedonistic time, driven by national coverage of this story as well as by the follow-up 2002 documentary Contrary to belief, Amish parents do not “encourage” their youth to leave home and experiment with sinful behaviors—nor do they condone it.