Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another culture-filled day for Audrey.  After school on Wednesdays, because we all finish at 12:30, the exchange students from the city (AFS, Rotary, WEP...), and even some of those from nearby towns, all come to Liège to hang out together.  Today, while at their favorite bar (because everything is cheap and the bartenders speak clearly and with their hands), I not only witnessed the exchange students in action, but some Belgian university students as well.  While Belgian universities don't have fraternities and sororities, they do have student clubs, which seem to be the same type of idea only with minimum living together and maximum party.  One of the few Belgian natives at the bar explained to us that this was what we were witnessing, which to us was a group of people in strange costumes (including chains, signs on their fronts, and colorful hats) standing and singing in the street outside the bar.

Apparently, as with a fraternity/sorority in the States, before becoming a member, there is a probationary period.  During this time, the members-to-be receive their fair share of hazing and public humiliation; today, they walked around with signs on their front and had to kneel in the street and eat disgusting things.  If they wouldn't/couldn't eat/drink it, it would get dumped on there heads.  There were a lot of fun faces, but I couldn't help feeling really sorry for them, even if said Belgian native claimed that this was pretty mild as student clubs go.

I can't imagine why anyone would willingly put themselves through that-- I'm pretty sure one of the things was dog food.  As they would say here, "dégueulasse."

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I know what you're talking about, the "baptêteme" stuff... My hostsister is doing that as we speak in fact, and I cant quite understand it, although I've tried to. Apparently back in the days it was pretty much obligatory to do it, or otherwise you'd be an outsider.. But why people do it now, when the majority of student dont, I dont understand :D