Apr 23, 2011


As you may or may not know, Russ is coming up. For those who don't know, it typically starts around the 1st of May (with many preparing earlier, by spending 1.5 million kroner on a bus) and ends on Norwegian National day (which will have a separate post) on the 17th of May. You probably have somewhat similar celebrations in your own country, but nothing can compare to Russ. Everyone gets dressed up in colours, overalls, and hats, usually with a certain colour dictating their area of further study (the most common is usually red - referring to higher education). I suppose this is not enough to set Russ apart from other high school graduation celebrations however, but what does is that Russ (an interesting word, both singular in referring to the celebration, and plural in referring to Russ - the students that are attending Russ) has many traditions, quirks, and of course, as you saw in the link above, buses, vans, cars and so on decorated with Norwegian colours, Russ colours and usually decked out with lighting, sound systems, TV's and who knows what else. A lot of effort can be put into a russebuss.

There is many other parts both during Russ and leading up to it that make it an event like no other in the world, typical of a high school graduation celebration of course, there is lots of alcohol, sex, loud music and everything else you can imagine. There is too much to type about here, so i'll provide some links, some pictures, and some quick dot points on the interesting bits about Russ celebrations...

  • Russ make "russekort" (russ cards) which are fake business cards, usually funny, offensive, and anything in between, which they hand out to eachother, and pretty much anyone that asks. They also commonly get asked by kids for their Russ cards, which previously led to some parents having issues, so now some Russ carry around 2 sets, a kids set and a more vulgar 'real' set (though I haven't seen this myself, I've also never checked).  I might get some examples later and post them up.
  • Russ are traditionally required to wear their russ outfit for the entire 1st-17th, without removing them, cleaning them etc etc. except for sleeping. As you can imagine, it smells after a while, with so much drinking, dancing, sweating etc. 
  • an interesting thing about Russ are Russknuter, which are items (usually useless miscellaneous items) which are tied into a tassel on the russ hats, from doing different tasks - I think this facebook group sums it up adequately, http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=67512513113 (some of these have received critisism every year, for being stupid, illegal, dangerous, etc. etc.) there is pretty much an infinite amount of russ knots. 
And now i can't be bothered coming up with anything else so, here's a wiki link and an aftenposten link and some pictures following:

A big russebuss
A good photo to show an example of the russ overalls and hat

As I'm sure you can imagine, there's tons of Russ pictures out there, you just have to look. Most of which are a little X rated to post here!