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Russ Celebration, Trondheim, Norway








Russ Celebration, Trondheim, Norway

A Russ is a participant in the traditional Norwegian videregående skole (equivalent to high school) graduation
ceremony known as russefeiring (russ celebration). Russ are easily recognized by their distinctive
overalls, which tradition dictates that they wear from the 1st to the 17th of May without interruption
(except when sleeping), and without washing it. They also have cars, vans, or buses, which are painted
the same color as their overalls, and often sport large sound systems or lighting rigs. On the 17th of May
(which is Norway's National Day, and the final day of the festivities) they are also recognizable
by their caps (russelue), which resemble student caps, and also match the color of the overalls.

Tradition dictates that each russ wears overalls during the entire russefeiring. The color of the overalls
should match the graduate's line of study: red for courses that are geared towards higher education
(this is the most common color), blue for courses in business (also higher education in economics and
management), white for medical and social studies, black for engineering (such as mechanics or electrics),
and green for agricultural fields. The two latter colors are rarely seen due to the lower student
numbers in such courses. Overalls are unisex, and usually available in two versions, one full overall
(with arms), and one resembling dungarees. Which of the two versions are more popular varies from year
to year. Currently, the dungaree version is most popular due to influence from American rap culture.

On the morning of the National Day, the attire is completed by the ceremonial addition of the russelue
(russ cap), which evolved from the traditional student cap used for university acceptance and graduation
ceremonies. The ceremony involves the christening of the graduate, in which the graduate is awarded
a name by his or her fellow graduates who, in their opinion, either characterize an aspect of the graduate's
normal behavior, or the one exhibited during the russefeiring. This name is written on the brim before
the cap is handed over. The cap should match the overalls in color, and should be worn for the entire
National Day, which completes the russefeiring. This way, the russ' attire is complete before they join
the local National Day parade, which is the culmination of the russefeiring. Caps can be loaded with tiny
figurines (called "knots") dangling from strings. Each knot represented a prank played or a dare met during
the month. A local "Russeboard" sets the rules for pranks each year. Each year a competition takes place
among the students as to who can get the most knots on their cap. A knot rewards a certain accomplishment
during the russ period. These pranks range from the most inoffensive to the most stupid and immoral:

-spending a night in a tree
-eating a Big Mac in two bites
-spending a school day crawling on hands and knees
-running naked through the city center in daylight
-biting the leg of a police officer, then barking like a dog
-having sex with the "Russepresident" (the head of the Russ)

Other common russ paraphernalia is the whip and the whistle. The whip was originally a birch twig, but is
now often purchased and made from bamboo or plastic. It is used for banging things (such as the russ' car)
rhythmically while chanting slogans in the 17th of May parade. The whistle resembles a common sports whistle,
and is also used to make noise in the parade. Over the years the russefeiring has become big business,
and consequently a number of companies provide a plethora of optional paraphernalia for russ to purchase,
such as t-shirts, sweaters, baseball caps, and so on.






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Russ celebration (russefeiring)
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Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
Russ celebration (russefeiring)
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