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!!