Hey everyone! :)
I would like to share a Norwegian tradition with all you American students.
I don’t know it you have heard about it before, but it is called being a russ. Every year in May all the Norwegian students that are about to graduate celebrate for 4 weeks. This probably sounds perfectly normal, but here is the thing.
The celebrations take places on busses! About 20-25 (girls, boys or mixed) get organized to make memories for life. We start about a year in advance to gather enough money to finance this adventure. We each have to pay from our own pockets, and we all have to work together to make money outside our own wallets. Then it is time to buy a bus and you have to make sure that this bus is up to code, considering it has been used as a “russe bus” for many, many years.
Finally, it is time to start planning what the bus is supposed to look like. You can pick any theme you want, but you have to make sure no one has done anything like it before. It is all about being original. Some decide to make their bus look like night club, a cave (!) or a tennis ball. Of course you have to make sure that no one knows about the concept until May. You also have to make clothes with your own logo and hire artist to make songs, tailored to your bus. In other words, you can say that every russe bus is a small organization. We have to deal with bills, authorities and so on. It is NOT easy to pull it all together.
We also have to rent big sound systems and light systems. There are also several parties arranged just for the russ. About 8000- 11 000 russ gather for 3 days to experience artists from all over the world. This year Busta Rhymes, Dj Antoine, Booty Luv and Yves Larock are amongst some of the artist.
There are also several competitions during this time, like: Best sound system, best light show, best exterior, best interior, best concept and best bus. During the 4 weeks everyone drives around in their busses, partying has much as they can. (By the way, in Norway you have to be 18 years old to drink.) Of course, it is also important that you wear the official russ clothes during these 4 weeks. The outfit contains of a red, blue or black (depending on your studies.) pants, your own bus sweater and a hat. During the 4 weeks, you are also supposed to do different dares. For example, holding hands for an entire day without letting go, wear bread as shoes for an entire day and so on. For every dare you do, you will get some sort of symbol fasten in your hat.
There is A LOT to say about being a russ, but it difficult to try explaining it all.
So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask :D I would be happy to answer, considering I’m the boss of my bus :D Oh yes!!
Also, this means that all the Norwegian students you have been talking to are going to be a russ very soon!
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