The Return of the Rain and the Students

This is what the weather was like yesterday. Bright sunshine, and just a glorious day.
Cafés and Restaurants
This is what the weather is like today. Rain, rain and more rain. And yes, the students were back for more initiation/introduction. Lousy timing!
I woke up to chatter outside the window and after peeking out, I saw a long, wet line of unhappy looking students. Gone was the singing and laughter from Saturday morning when the first batch went through this process. I don’t remember a second round last year, and I don’t know why they did another round this year. I did ponder the idea of actually asking someone about all of this today, but the early hour and the heavy rain didn’t really make me feel all that social.
Morning View
They started off sitting quietly in a row, with all their worldly possession grouped around them. They sat like that for quite a while, perhaps an hour or so. Then there was a sudden movement when they all got up and began digging through their bags.
Line Up
The white sheets returned and were bundled around various possessions, which seemed to also include a pair of white candles, which I saw grasped in the hands of many of the students this morning. They hung around for a while after that, still fussing with odds and ends and still getting rained on solidly. Eventually they began to move off, hopefully to get warm and dry.
Moving On
The upperclassmen didn’t let a little rain stop them from donning their full morning suits and drinking their glasses of champagne. Most had an umbrella to hand, but there was one who went umbrella-less and looked as soaked as the students. A few of his friends took pity on him on occasion and shared their shelter.
(this is my favorite shot)
Contrast [Day 236/365]
Perhaps the kindness inspired him, as the last of the students moved off, one had a little trouble managing all his bags and bits and pieces, so the upperclassman kindly gave him a hand carrying one of his bags. What a nice young man!
A Helping Hand

3 thoughts on “The Return of the Rain and the Students

  1. Pingback: Amateur anthropology | Greg Tyrelle

  2. It’s called”mores” I believe, the weird rituals of “studentenverenigingen”. I know for a fact that the vereniging Veritas tosses a piano (yes, a piano) into one of the canals each year. God knows for what reason…

    Not all students join these studentenverenigingen, and it kind of depends on what they study as well. For instance, I studied History, and not a lot of students joined the more old-school, stricter studenteverenigingen like Unitas or Veritas or “het Koor” (I think that’s the oldest and strictest one, with boys and girls seperated). They did join more sports-orientated studentenverenigingen. But Economy students or Law students are much more likely to join one of the more hardcore ones. I guess in a lot of cases it’s a tradition in more affluent and well-educated families. These sometimes a bit snooty students are commonly called “corpsballen” by the rest of the students(though they don’t refer to themselves as such). Can’t really translate that, but it’s a bit derigatory, meaning a type of upper classy, snooty, elitist student who dresses a certain way and who often studies either Law or Economy or something similar. It’s a bit of a stereotype, though I have actually seen quite a few of these “corpsballen” around (watch out for the poloshirts and slicked back hair). They’re probably pretty normal and nice people though I guess 🙂

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