Eurovision 2015: Some more weird European culture

On the other side of the globe, while my friends from uni were preparing for their undergrad graduation ceremony, I was taking part in a European “tradition” that up until that week I’d never heard of: Eurovision.

Georgia's star Nina Sublatti performing in Eurovision 2015. Photo: Telegraph
Georgia’s star Nina Sublatti performing in Eurovision 2015. Photo: Telegraph

Eurovision Song Contest is a euro-centric singing competition in which each participating country sends their best contender(s) to perform a piece of pop music for a huge international audience. It’s a bit like the Olympics, except instead of totally ripped athletes you have an assortment of sexy pop stars, performers in crazy costumes, and even a drag queen, and instead of competing in intense sporting events to win gold medals, they sing a song of their choice, from the serious to the silly, the completely bizarre to the downright tacky, for the honor of having their country host the competition next year. And instead of a panel of judges deciding who’s the best, the audience gets to vote, American Idol-style. The catch? You’re not allowed to vote for your own country.
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Kapsejlads: The craziest Danish tradition I’ve seen yet

Move over, Friday bars and freshman initiation rituals. You can have your Christmas dinners (julefrokost) and licorice-flavored ice cream. Without a doubt, the most insane Danish tradition I’ve come across yet is Kapsejlads, the annual Aarhus university boat race at the university park.

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I’ve never seen the university park this crowded in my entire life. (Sorry for the poor quality – until I buy a new camera, you’ll have to deal with my crappy phone pics.)

In its most basic definition, Kapsejlads is a regatta, a boat race in which the different academic faculties compete against each other. In reality, it’s an excuse to drink. All. Day. Long.

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University Park in Winter

I was cycling back from the university the other day and noticed that the university park pond, which in warm weather has ducks swimming in it, had frozen over. I happened to have my camera with me, so I took some photos of the eerie landscape. This winter day in Denmark was equal parts beautiful, haunting and dreary. Most days it’s just dreary.

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Velkommen til Århus! (Welcome to Aarhus!)

After stuffing two years’ worth of clothing and school supplies into two huge suitcases, I was ready to go. I didn’t have time to be sad, just stressed. My parents took me out to lunch and drove me to the Sea-Tac airport, and my boyfriend met us there to send me off. After a surprisingly tearless goodbye, I hopped on a plane and flew to…London. Continue reading “Velkommen til Århus! (Welcome to Aarhus!)”