On The Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life

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On The Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life

by Rupinder Gill

McClelland & Stewart | March 22, 2011 | Hardcover

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"There''s a phenomenon in Amish culture called Rumspringa, where Amish adolescents are permitted to break free from their modest and traditional lifestyles to indulge in normally taboo activities. They dress how they want, go out if and when they please, smoke, drink and generally party like it''s 1899. At the end they decide if they will return and join the Amish church.

"I am 30 years old. I wore my hair in two braids every day until I was 12. I dressed more conservatively than most Amish, barely left my house until I was 18 and spent the last 12 years studying and working hard on my career like a good little Indian girl. The time has come; you are witness to the dawning of my Indian Rumspringa, a Ram-Singha if you will. But instead of smoking and drinking Bud Lights in a park while yelling ''Down with barn raising!'' I plan to indulge in a different manner - by pursuing everything I wish had been a part of my youth. Things I always felt were part of most North Americans'' adolescent experience. I will learn to swim, go to summer camp, see Disneyworld, take dance lessons, have sleepovers and finally get the pet I longed for my whole life.

"This is the story of the ultimate New Year''s resolution, more akin to a new life resolution. Will it all be fun? Will my friends and family support my walk down memory-less lane? Will it all matter in the end? I don''t know yet but much like my young Rumspringaed-out counterpart, I will decide whether or not there is any going back."

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.51 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: March 22, 2011

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771035934

ISBN - 13: 9780771035937

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

On The Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life

On The Outside Looking Indian: How My Second Childhood Changed My Life

by Rupinder Gill

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 272 Pages, 5.51 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: March 22, 2011

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771035934

ISBN - 13: 9780771035937

Read from the Book

There is a phenomenon in Amish culture called Rumspringa, in which Amish adolescents are permitted to break free from their modest traditional lifestyles and indulge in normally taboo activities. They dress however they want, go out if and when they please, smoke, drink, and party like it’s 1899. At the end of their Springa Break they decide whether they will maintain their new lifestyles or return and join the Amish church. In Indian adolescence you never break free of the rules. You cook, clean, babysit, clean, get good grades, clean, be silent, clean, and don’t challenge your parents in any way – especially while cleaning. This was my life. I grew up in a town whiter than snow, about an hour outside of Toronto. Like most children of immigrants, I was raised by the rules of one culture and looked longingly at those living a distinctly different way. I didn’t have time for a continent-wide census, but from what I know, this is how typical North American kids spend their summer vacations growing up: July – summer camp, family trip, or cottage. Activities include swimming, canoeing, travelling, laughter, horseplay, tomfoolery, and general merriment. Mother makes glazed ham while father reads Russian classics and smokes a pipe. Kids dance around maypoles. August – return home and play with friends, have sleepovers, take weekend trips, and shop for fabulous new back-to-school clothes while dreading the inevitable return to academia. Here is ho
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From the Publisher

"There''s a phenomenon in Amish culture called Rumspringa, where Amish adolescents are permitted to break free from their modest and traditional lifestyles to indulge in normally taboo activities. They dress how they want, go out if and when they please, smoke, drink and generally party like it''s 1899. At the end they decide if they will return and join the Amish church.

"I am 30 years old. I wore my hair in two braids every day until I was 12. I dressed more conservatively than most Amish, barely left my house until I was 18 and spent the last 12 years studying and working hard on my career like a good little Indian girl. The time has come; you are witness to the dawning of my Indian Rumspringa, a Ram-Singha if you will. But instead of smoking and drinking Bud Lights in a park while yelling ''Down with barn raising!'' I plan to indulge in a different manner - by pursuing everything I wish had been a part of my youth. Things I always felt were part of most North Americans'' adolescent experience. I will learn to swim, go to summer camp, see Disneyworld, take dance lessons, have sleepovers and finally get the pet I longed for my whole life.

"This is the story of the ultimate New Year''s resolution, more akin to a new life resolution. Will it all be fun? Will my friends and family support my walk down memory-less lane? Will it all matter in the end? I don''t know yet but much like my young Rumspringaed-out counterpart, I will decide whether or not there is any going back."

About the Author

After graduating high school as the class valedictorian, Rupinder studied Arts at the University of Toronto and she is now a television publicist. Her writing has been published in the National Post and on McSweeneys'' website (not to mention that her work has appeared in several editions of hand-bound primary school poetry anthologies). She wrote for Barnes & Noble''s teen blog Spark Life until she was fired for not understanding the subtle nuances of the LOL.

Editorial Reviews

"A belated coming-of-age tale that''s funny, sharply self-aware and surprisingly sweet. We could all use a little of Rupinder Gill''s fearlessness. "
-Katrina Onstad
 
"[A] sharp read. . . . Her gutsy life-changing decisions leave us with a taste for a sequel."
-Winnipeg Free Press
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