Today was the last day I had this week with my russ students, so I thought I would go ahead and update you on what I’ve learned.
- First things first, I was wrong about russ hats. They are not given out on the 17th of May, the students actually have them for the entire duration of russ (I have gone ahead and updated my previous post).
- Every dare that you undertake to earn russeknuter, or knots in your cap, must be documented or witnessed. I pressed my students on this, asking if this still applies to sexual dares. The answer: yes. To my surprise, they seemed to be confused as to why I found this strange.
- Students decorate their russ overalls. Most of them will have their names and schools stitched on to them, but some also add things like patches that say “Don’t arrest me.” People also write on their overalls (much like you would write on someone’s cast). My favorite thing that I’ve seen so far was someone who wrote down their phone number but misspelled their name (the ‘a’ was written on backwards. Sadly it wasn’t intentional.) Some students also wear white lab coats that they decorate. I was told that the lab coats were part of an older russ uniform, but not too many students still use them today.
- Baring absolute disaster (namely someone vomiting on you), my russ students really don’t wash their russ overalls until russ is over. Some of my students have decided to be a bit strategic about this, saving more messy dares (like crawling around the downtown area) for the end of russ.
- Although russ hasn’t even gone on for a week, many of my students have already lost their voices or are sick–unsurprising considering most of them are partying every night.
- And I’ve saved the best for last, russekort, or russ cards! I have been acting like Norwegian children everywhere and been collecting russ cards! Out of curiosity, I asked my students how many cards each of them have printed, and the answer is 600 each! I was blown away. When I asked if they actually expected to get rid of all of them, all of my students nodded emphatically. Many of them said that they can’t even get through Sentrum (city central) without having to give away 30 or 40 cards to children. I asked my students how long kids collect russ cards for and was told that it is socially acceptable until you’re about 12 or 13. My students have the good sense not to point out that I am not 13 or under, and instead seem to think it’s hilarious how excited I am to see their russ cards. Because a few of my friends were asking, I thought I’d show you my growing collection of russ cards, though for privacy reasons I’ve blocked out the pictures and personal information. I’ve also gone ahead and had some of the phrases translated for you.