No sex on roundabouts for Russ

“We promise not to have sex on roundabouts” say Norway students


Photo: Jan Hammershaug / Flickr
Russ parading in Gausdal, Norway, in 2016. Signs say things like “we want sex” and “we want alcohol.”

The Local

Upper secondary schools in Ringsaker, Norway, have promised not to have sex on roundabouts, much to the delight of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA).

Earlier this week, the authority’s director Terje Moe Gustavsen commented on reports that traditional final term celebrations (russefeiring in Norwegian) by high school (gymnasium) pupils in the town included sex on roundabouts and running naked on bridges.

Students commonly wear colored overalls and rent buses, cars, or vans in which they travel around local towns. The graduates celebrate continually during the month-long period, and drunkenness and public disturbances are a regular result.

The NPRA director advised against roundabout sex: “Everyone knows that it is a traffic hazard [for pedestrians] to be in and around roundabouts,” he wrote.

Gustavsen’s message also made mention of a challenge involving a naked run over the Mjøsa bridge. “It is probably not dangerous for a runner to be without clothes on the bridge, but people driving could get such a surprise if they see naked people on the bridge, they might forget they are driving,” he wrote.

“I hardly want to be seen as a killjoy or as Aunt Sofie. But dear graduates: Ringsaker has 97 other challenges to choose from,” Gustavsen wrote in a post on NPRA’s website.

The director’s plea gained attention in domestic and international media, and students in the town have now responded.

Kine G. Berge, vice president of the committee responsible for the student celebrations in Ringsaker, said that the roundabout sex challenge had now been removed from the town’s list of russeknuter, literally “graduate knots,” challenges that earn knots tied in students’ graduation caps for completion.

“The NPRA has raised the issue and there has been a lot of fuss in the media. We understand that it could be a traffic hazard,” Berge told NRK.

Berge stressed that the challenge had been meant in a spirit of humor. Nobody has attempted the challenge this year, nor will they as a result of the publicity over the issue, she added.

“We’ll have a fun time without roundabouts,” Berge said.

Gustavsen told NRK the “fantastic” decision to scrap the roundabout challenge would not mean the Ringsaker students would not have their russ fun.

“I think the russ students will enjoy themselves anyway,” he said.

This article originally appeared in the May 4, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.