Norwegian Russ

The Russing season in Norway lasts from May1st until May17th. Not to be confused with the rutting season, which happens much later in the year although there may well be some similarities! As we were in Oslo during that time we were privileged to witness this unusual tradition as the city fell victim to gangs of strangely trousered students.

Essentially, Russ is a kind of Norwegian ‘rites of passage’ thing for students graduating from higher secondary school and some might say moving from child to adult. There are many traditions associated with it, nearly all involving having sex with as many people as possible in a short space of time, but the most noticeable is the wearing of coloured and decorated trousers as can be seen in the photo below.

The red colour of these trousers suggests they are students of general studies (mathematics, physics, biology, history, literature, English etc); media and communication, art, music, dance and drama or athletics. This is by far the most common colour we saw although there was a smattering of blue (medical students) and one or two black ones (things like electronics or carpentry).

One of the traditions is the handing out of “Russekort”, a sort of business card given to fellow Russ or to children who collect them. Zosia noticed this girl handing one to another child as we sat at Aker Brygge and decided to go over and get one for herself. Thanks, Camilla!!

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5 thoughts on “Norwegian Russ

  1. It’s fun to hear an outsider’s view of the Russ-tradition (yes, I’m norwegian).
    But I’ve got to tell you that you’ve been misinformed with regards to the blue russ. They are actually students of business and economics not medicine (as far as I know there is no specific training for medicine at this level in Norway, and these are of course not on a very professional level, rather preparing for college education in business and such)

  2. Kjetil, brilliant! A real Norwegian!!

    Thanks for correcting me. It is actually a bit vague in the Wikipedia article, they say blue is medicine but then they say it changes from city to city or college to college so I suppose it’s hard for a foreigner to understand.

    Anyway, thanks for coming by and commenting. I hope my other comments on our Oslo experience are accurate enough. There are a few more posts coming when I can find time to deal with the pictures.

  3. Pingback: In and around Oslo, Norway. « 20 east

  4. Baerum. That girl in your Russ card is from a very rich neighborhood in Oslo, she must have had a nice buss.

    hmm. this is my american two cents on Russ, yes there is a lot of sex, but Norwegians tend to have a lot of sex from the age of 16 till the grave. They are very sexual people, and don’t feel the need to be uptight about sex. My year in Norway is over, and lets just say that learning to understand their language is far easier than trying to understand how romance and relationships work in Norway.

  5. Hey, i saw your nice thread. I am a Norwegian to and i must correct you Blue is for business and economics. Black are for the work related like carpentry,electronics and such.

    Well you are explaning it good and have a nice time, ya you may be correct with the relationsship here in Norway.

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