Perhaps I should end this near month-long blogging hiatus with describing our Scandinavian Christmas festivities with the Chamber of Commerce’s Lucia-party and the Danish- Swedish HYGGE of Christmas eve where we ate imported rye-bread and herring and even part- took in the holiest of Christmas-traditions for a Dane/ Swede: the Donald Duck Christmas special (we naturally watched the Danish version as it features the glorious snowball- fight scene which has been cut out of the Swedish version for being too violent (and when you think of it, it’s pretty wild: Donald and the nephews actively try to kill each other, but it sure makes great TV!)). Perhaps I should let you in on the last weekends at work (as I’m travelling so much in Jan+ Feb, I said that I’ll be taking an indefinite break from teaching at the school which my bosses were really cool with. My new master- plan is to pick up dancing again and see if I can get a job as a dance teacher as of the end of February), or the peaceful state of my soul lately or how I’ve rediscovered my love for this city and the country; but it all seems too big, distant and cumbersome to verbalize. So, for now, I’ll just focus on the ridiculous Christmas party on the 22nd of Dec:
The ridiculous Zhen Fa Da Xue Christmas Party was organized by the school for its international students. Whenever Zheng Fa tries to organize something, there is reason to be suspicious, and this thing was no exception (although highly entertaining!). First of all, we all got 3 different e-mails about this Christmas-party, telling us to register in different ways which resulted in that no-one really knew if they were registered properly. But as rules and order are mainly for show here, and without much practical importance, everyone who wanted to join was welcome no matter correct registration or not. The actual night of the party started as such: there was only one very small bus to take a lot of students to the restaurant where the party would be held; consequently people were piled on top of eachother, and the bus was full of standing people. We were instructed to close all the curtains, because if the police saw so many people standing in a bus, the school would surely be fined. This comes from China’s second best law-school, people. Only sayin’…
When we finally came to the restaurant, we realized a couple of things: the international Christmas-party was neither international (as all speeches and greetings were in Chinese which basically no international student could understand) nor Christmasy at all: the food was a weird mix of Chinese and African (?) traditional cuisine, which at one point featured a whole- grilled lamb with grass in its mouth being rolled onto the stage, and the whole place seemed to be niched towards catering for Arabian events. There was not a calm minute as student-performance after student-performance lasted all throughout dinner. It was like giant karaoke for 200 people.
After dinner, the restaurant displayed some of its own performances, which were quite spectacular, I must say: there was an amazing Kung-Fu laser show, a snake-dancer and a girl who- on her back- could spin around enormous Chinese pots on her feet. Weird moment: when they put a small Chinese dude inside the hugest of the pots so the girl spun both enormous pot + person inside it! Impressive, but undoubtedly weird.
I’m standing there thinking ‘…Kewl’ to myself when shit suddenly got completely out of hand: some male students were called up on stage and presented with huge vases of beer that they were supposed to chug. Another wait… what?– moment for Erik when the thought is this really organized by a top-university? Beer chugging? went through my head. But so it was! Jambo (new guy from Tanzania) won the competition for which he got some kind of prize. He also threw up afterwards, but no-one took special notice of that. I looked awkwardly towards the professors who clapped and seemed to think It’s all good fun for the kind students! Shortly afterwards, a performer initiated a train of people and led them up on top of the tables. Then it happened: the lights went out, strobelights came on and GANGNAM STYLE boomed in the speakers. The restaurant went from a slightly weird performance- venue into a fullblown club in five seconds. At the peak of the party when people were already drunk and rocking out to David Guetta I looked at my watch: that kind of scene usually plays out around 2 a.m. in clubs. It was 8.30 p.m.
Very strange, but lots of fun, and the most Chinese Christmas- party I ever saw….