Monday, April 30, 2012

Yesterday marked two years since I first arrived in Norway. It's hard to believe it's already been two years here. Having said that, I haven't spent the entire two years in Norway, I've also spent a good chunk of that time at home in Canada. There have been many ups and downs during the two years I've been here, but overall I've really enjoyed my time in Norway. I had the chance to catch up with my old teammates at Kjelsås, as they were playing against Rosenborg 2 in Trondheim on the weekend. It was nice to see the guys and watch them play, although they lost the game 1-0. I've posted a few pictures of Trondheim below and I apologize for the poor quality (had to take them on my phone camera). I will try and put up some more photos soon. Now I have to write about an annual tradition for students graduating from high-school in Norway called "Russ". It's basically a time of celebration for students that are finishing secondary school. Students have to wear bright overalls and hats that are usually red or black (depending on what the student's studied) from May 1st-May 16th. The tradition is that students have to wear their Russ clothes for the entire period, without washing them. Even though the period doesn't start until the first of May, most schools begin the tradition up to a week or two beforehand. On top of wearing these clothes, all the students get together in groups and rent mini-vans or busses which are also painted either red or black. Each bus is unique and individually painted by each group of students. Usually you can see the buses driving around town blasting music and some groups even hire a bus driver for two weeks. There are many crazy tasks that students try to complete during the two weeks. Some examples of these tasks are kissing a policeman or streaking through your schoolyard. If a student completes these tasks they receive a "Russ knot". Each student also has hundreds of business cards printed up to trade with other students and give out to people, that usually have a funny picture, quote, and fake contact details. For some reason young kids are really interested in collecting these cards and they try to collect as many as possible during this period. Every time I go out during Russ, I see lots of teenagers walking around in their red overalls with little kids running up to them asking for their cards. Most of the students are drunk during this period pretty much every single day. It's pretty entertaining watching a bunch of drunk Norwegian teenagers running around town. Surprisingly most of the people in town don't mind this tradition and most people seem to find it really entertaining. As crazy as this whole tradition sounds, I promise I'm not making this up! I actually first arrived in Norway during Russ in 2010 and I had absolutely no idea what was going on. At first I couldn't figure out why every young person was wearing the same outfit! I also started wondering why everyone was acting so crazy, and why there were so many red vans on the road. Luckily some eventually explained the situation to me. The whole tradition is certainly much different than what I experienced from Graduating high school in Canada! I'm sure I'll see some pretty funny things when I go out over the next couple of weeks! If you ever come to Norway during this time of year, now you know what to expect! 

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