In celebration of finals week, (besides my entire tango class going out for guac & margs at 1pm this afternoon) I thought I would share with you one of my favorite traditions I have stumbled upon during my time here.
During my first few weeks, I noticed some large areas of sidewalk that were covered with the residue of flour, eggs, and other unidentifiable foods. Sometimes there were bits of streamers or other colorful materials strewn about as well. It never happened often, but I did notice it was normally outside of a university building. The students are always actively participating in any and all protests, marches, you name it – so I didn’t think much more to it.
Eventually I saw where the rest of these strange food and decoration items had ended up besides on the ground. On people. Better yet – students. I finally learned that it is known as a rite of passage. Upon the completion of your final exam that will allow you to complete your university degree, you celebrate! Your family and friends come find you at the building and shower you with love.
Love and mayonnaise, vinegar, eggs, and so much more. Sometimes they get creative with paint and other crazy party favors to cover them in.
The aftermath of this throwing of mayonnaise and eggs is quite gross. The student is dripping in strange colors, sopping wet and smells like some kid’s weird kitchen-blender experience. As a bystander walking by, however, I find it absolutely hilarious. It’s so unique and ridiculous. They say it’s to celebrate this final stage before official adulthood and entrance into the work force, finishing the crazy days of childhood and heading into the formal, responsible land of“grown-ups”.
They used to celebrate inside of the schools in halls and classrooms, but eventually it was prohibited. Professors had clean up after the mess and it wasn’t enjoyable for anyone using the facility to study or work. So now I get to enjoy some exciting treats on my walk home every so often. It’s happening more and more frequently as the end of the semester approaches us.
The only photo I’ve snagged myself. It’s kind of awkward to take pictures in the aftermath with the students and their family still around…
Thankfully, CIEE does not shower us in this fashion as a form of bon voyage from Argentina back home. To be honest, I’d much prefer a Fernet and Coke once I’m done.
My un-sticky hair and non-stinky skin thank you.