xxxxxgbfpxxxxx asked: you still have to explain to me what cercles are!
Alright so this is a bit hard. In the same way that the words of languages don’t cross over, it’s a bit difficult to explain cercles.
The closest thing in America is frats. But that is a terrible connotation… but cercles from what I have learned are groups of students who study a similar subject. MDS is Maison des Science so I guess they are science kids. Adele is the cercle for law, Psycho is psychology, and there are so many.
I’m sure there are many benefits to cercles besides having a great way to meet a huge group of friends. People can help you get jobs or help you study, etc.
What is neat about cercles is the batisme and the hats. I don’t know all the details but batisme (again, so not American) is as close as they get to rushing. And they haze the hell out of people. There is one position of submission (yeah!) where the blues, or the new students have to get on their knees with their heads down and their hands behind their back. People I’ve met have told me stories of choosing a weapon to fight and then it turned out to be used to threated to cut off certain body parts you’d like to keep.
They also wear these hats, culottes, that sort of look like the hats old men wear in groups in america. Small, flat, and round. And they put pins on them… but you have to earn the pins… probably for drinking.
One event with the blues is King of the Freshman. Each cercle has a competition and they pick their king, and then all the kings compete for King of Kings. It is a drinking competition. Whoever drinks the most beers the fastest wins. And… unlike at home, vomiting is encourages. I remember on one of our first nights here a Belgian friend went into the alley to throw up. We were all “OH! NO! Are you okay?” and he was all “Okay? I’m making room for more beer.” Apparently King of Kings have had up to NINETY BEERS. Seriously.
But the way I participate in cercles is these. Each cercle has a place, kind of like a club house. They have a bar and throw parties there. And I mean every night…
In Louvain-La-Neuve, the students go home for the weekend, so parties start on Sunday and end on Thursday. Each night has a cercle that is “the best” that night. Tonight, Thursday, is Petit Casa. Usually Casa is good but Casa is rented out by different cercles. On Sunday I love going to Grand Ducale.
They drink so much and dance all night. The funny thing is that unlike at home, you don’t dress up. One people who are sober will look at you strangely (most people won’t care) and two your clothes will get torn the fuck up. Beer is flying everywhere from affond-ing and drunkeness. Smoke fills the room. You will get sweaty. And there is like a layer … a film of nastiness on the floor. But it is beautiful.
You know it is the end of the night around 3:30 or 4 when they play the Louvain La Neuve song. That’s right, our city has a song :D
The basic gist of it is :Louvain La Neuve, you never sleep through the nights, you sing without stopping, you party without stopping until June, when we cry to leave you. :D