As russetia (russ time) rapidly approaches, Northern Norway´s typical April weather comes into effect and rain pours mercilessly for days on end. This, for lack of a better term, sucks, especially when tradition requires one to swim in the ocean before May 1st. However, this week has nevertheless been packed full of strange and exciting traditions. (A note: you get a knot in this string on your russ hat (like coolness points, basically) if you dress up every single day in ståkuka, this week, and have your costume on between 08.00 and 15.00. The point of the Russ time is to get as many knots in this string as possible, by doing strange things, so that´s why everyone´s so into it.) Behold:
Ståkuka day two: Cowboys and Indians!
Ståkuka day three, pajamas day, came and went relatively undocumented, but we all went to school with slippers and blankets and it was great.
Ståkuka day four: beach day! (through a very unexpected turn of events, I ended up not having time to dress up for this one, unfortunately.)
Ståkuka day five: Superheroes! (having broken the dressing-up streak the day before, the point of it all kind of died for me. And I couldn´t find any spandex.)
Now, for a bit of explanation once more, and excuse the slightly inappropriate use of religious words – Norway is historically a very Christian country. Russ time begins on May 1st, next Friday. Each class at school appoints a Russ Priest, and on the night of April 30th, we all meet up somewhere and go through a Russ Baptism, a weird sort of initiation rite that the Russ Priest makes up her/himself. (Yet to be determined.) We wear our russ pants inside-out, go through the initiation rite, are appointed with our russ names, and when the clock hits midnight and it´s May 1st, we all turn our pants right-side out and walk down to a beach, where we party all night long with all the russ in the city. Tradition.
However, this raises a whole new issue – who will russ-baptize the russ-priests? The russ president, clearly. This took place outside the school on Thursday (beach day.) They were given their names and smothered with an unappealing mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise, water and flour in front of all of this year´s russ. Per Martin (yellow t-shirt, blonde hair) has been named Bonjævel (sorry, its untranslatable) and is now our russ priest!