"amish in the city"
the launching of their new reality show Amish in the City
. [Pausing for the chuckles.] No, really.
"Blending reality TV with a bit of 'rumspringa,' the UPN network is launching a controversial new series this month centered on a group of Amish teens as they venture from their rural environs into the outside world.
Debuting July 28 with two consecutive hourlong episodes, 'Amish in the City' will follow five Amish youth sharing an ultra-modern house in the Hollywood Hills with six young urbanites..."
"Rumspringa" means "running wild", and at 16, Amish kids get to go out and play in the "real world" for awhile, then make their choice to stay out or go back to their community and become baptized adults.
Now, I come from Amish country...not Lancaster County PA, but Mifflin County PA, which is a lot smaller and a whole lot less commercialized when it comes to the Amish. Our Amish (and the Mennonites, too) are an integral part of the county's culture. Many of the homes that are built have Amish workers on the construction crews. You can't drive on any roads (except the 55mph+ 4-lanes) without coming up on a buggy. If you want a good pie, bread, other baked goods, you get it from the Amish...usually from stands set up at the ends of their farm lanes, run by the young kids. On Wednesdays, there's this thing called the Sale Barn. It's a lifestock sale/flea market thing, and the majority of the buyers and sellers are Amish -- or people on bus tours who have come to look at the Amish.
So, I don't really like the idea of a network making a "reality" show about the Amish, because, quite frankly, I don't want to see them ridiculed for their way of life, which stems from their religious beliefs. Sure, it's TV, and it's all in "good fun", but I just get a bad feeling about it.