Pubdate: Thu, 19 Jun 2003
Source: Cranbury Press (NJ)
Copyright: Packet Online 2003
Author: Jenn Ruhl


Hillsborough is known for its diverse community. It contains people of all 
religions and nationalities.

However, I am part of a culture that has been stereotyped by Hillsborough's 
society. The "massive and global" group that I am speaking of is the Rave 

We seem to be misunderstood and I believe that ignorance of our culture may 
be why society dismisses us. Ravers do not go to raves to do drugs, as many 
people in our community believe. There is so much more to our way of life.

Ravers believe in the values of "P.L.U.R.," an acronym we use for peace, 
love, unity and respect. When we dance, we dance free of ego, at peace with 
one another and ourselves. With this peace, we are able to strengthen our 
minds, bodies and spirits.

Love brings us to the music. It gives us the ability to turn to complete 
strangers at parties and make conversation. Ravers are able to forget their 
differences, join hands with those we have never met and share in the love 
and joy that we have created.

Unity brings us together. At a rave, we feel connected to one another. We 
share a common ground in Electronica Music. Ravers are a sub-genre that has 
united. We respect one another for being different. Race and religion do 
not matter to a raver. As bizarre as we may dress, other ravers embrace us.

These values enhance the dance experience. Ravers also embrace ideals of 
freedom, tolerance, harmony, and self-expression. This is why we dance 
fiercely together, celebrating life and our culture. We go to these parties 
for so many reasons, not to seek drugs.

In this new millennium, drugs can be found everywhere. They can be found at 
any concert, club or public event. So why are raves exploited for drugs 
more than any of these other places? Just because a person may go to a rave 
does not make him or her a drug user. Not all hippies used drugs and 
neither do all ravers.

Rave production companies and the crews throwing the event also do not 
condone the drugs that may be at the rave. Fliers for these parties always 
state not to bring drugs, weapons, outside food and drink and bad attitudes.

However, due to human nature there are those who do not follow the rules. 
Precautions are made though, and everyone is searched before entering the 
rave. If a person is found later during the party with drugs, security's 
job is to escort him or her out of the party, sometimes in handcuffs.

Alcohol may be served at some raves but it is only allowed in the bar area, 
which is restricted to anyone under the age of 21. This is no different 
from any bar or restaurant.

Drugs like ecstasy, LSD and ketamine have existed since before the Rave 
Scene, which came about in the 1980s. These and other illicit drugs are not 
new and are not becoming popular because of raves or the people that attend 
them. Drugs can be found in any town or city, not only at a music event. In 
truth, the majority of drug abusers use them in their own homes.

Going to raves gives me a safe haven to perform and express myself in a 
unique art form. It allows me to be myself without being judged, which 
society is not always capable of doing. Drugs do not enhance the 
experience, the music and utopia that we have created for one evening does.

We will continue to pack into warehouses and buildings to share in this 
vibrant life of light and sound, no matter what society may think of our 
culture. I am asking those who judge us to open their mind and see ravers 
for who we truly are. We just want to continue celebrating our existence at 

While society may shut down the party, it can not kill the desire of, 
"crave to rave."

Jenn Ruhl

Hillsborough High School