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Jornal Online da UBI, da Covilhã, da Região e do Resto
Director: João Canavilhas Director-adjunto: Anabela Gradim
      Edição: 511 de 2009-11-03   Estatuto EditorialEquipaO Urbi ErrouContactoArquivo •  
> <strong>Benchea Iulia-Simona (Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza)</strong><br />

Erasmus student experiencing Portugal’s academic tradition

> Benchea Iulia-Simona (Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza)

Last week, from 25th to 31st of October, “Recepção ao Caloiro” took place in Covilhã town. “Caloiros” is how portuguese students in their first year of faculty are called. And this week was the week when “A praxe academica” finished. “A praxe academica” is an academic tradition in Portugal. “Caloiros” or freshmen have to obey older students in order to integrate in the group of their classmates. It’s about playing games, making jokes on one another, running, singing, shouting on the streets, day and night, accepting almost all kind of punishment from older students. It is heard that freshmen who don’t participate to the tradition are being somehow unrecognized or excluded by their classmates during studies.
For the freshmen’s reception, I didn’t stay in my room. Definitely, not. It wasn’t for free, but anyone could join, having some money in it’s pocket.
“Recepção ao Caloiro” started Sunday evening, 25th of October,  with a “Fado” serenade, on Largo do Calvário. “Fado” is a music genre which can be traced from 1820’s in Portugal.  It can be characterized by mournful tunes and lyrics. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word “saudade”. Word that has no match in english, but it could be understood as nostalgia felt while missing something or someone important.
Lots of students were at Largo do Calvário, dressed up in black, long uniformes which made them all look like Harry Potter. And made me and my friends feel like in some kind of movie. Different tradition, different panorama. Lot of beer, people taking pictures, rumor, hats, groups laughing, band singing “fado”, cigarette smell, smoke. And in the end… fireworks!!!
On Monday night, I had a feeling  that it was going to be a good night. And it was indeed. 10 euros entrance, discount for being a student at UBI, one hour waiting in line in front of Anil Pavilion together with some friends. “I’ve never seen so many people in same place in Covilhã” I was telling to myself. And the question in my mind during all evening: “where are all this people during day???“ Anyhow, at midnight I was inside “Anil”, ready to party. Lot of beer again, lots of students, normally dressed this time, loud music, dance, socializing, different languages, and the most common question: “how do you enjoy Portugal?” We listened and danced on Arraial da Cerveja’ s songs, Encantatuna’s, Tiago Silva’s, Meidin’s, Dj D@s Sen@s’s.
Parties continued next days also, just like in the song of  “Black Eyed Peas” band, “I gotta feeling”: “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday/ get get get get get with us/ you know what we say/ party every day/ pa pa pa party every day
Slimmy, Flow 212, Dj Gigas, Ca-tuna aos Saltos, Tuna-mus, Desertuna, Moçoilas, Já b-UBI &Tokuskopus, Double Damage&CPT Luvlace, Doismileoito, Pontos Negros, Fonzie, Dj Jiggy, Virgem Suta, Os Azeitonas, Hands On Approach, Pedro Cazanova, Taxi, Makongo, Supafly Inc, Dj Noise Tribe, all of them played the next days on “Anil” Pavilion.
Wednesday was the most special day for me as for my other Erasmus friends in all week. Why? Because of freshmen’s big parade. We left Pedro Alvarez Cabral Residence at two in the afternoon thinking the parade will end in an hour or two. But no. We were wrong. And we didn’t know what it will wait for us near main building of Beira Interior University. Colours, students wearing uniforme, freshmen disguised in funny cloths. Each couse with it’s song and choreography, with it’s banner and a car symbolizing the study specialization: Civil Engineering, Architecture, Medicine, Art and Communication Sciences and so on. Red, blue, yellow, green, pink. You could distinguish all the colours of the rainbow on the cloths and banners. Students were singing and shouting, drinking wine and dancing. Unique, original, amazing, fun could be the words describing the parade that took place on the streets of Covilhã on Wednesday. The whole parade seemed to be a contest where the most original ones could win. And this year, the Civil Engineering won.
After freshmen’s reception week, I have less money in my pocket, but more friends on facebook. Less kilos, but more information about Portugal’s academic traditions in my head. And, guess what? I also have a date…

> pmrlisboa @ gmail . com em 2009-11-11 14:15:13
A DATE?? ahah,Iulia my dear,already cheating on me?rofl. i´m very glad you´re enjoying my country even if the crisis has reduced the life quality in here,the semana do Caloiro it´s on all major cities in Portugal,and the most crowded one is on Coimbra,the official collegial city in Portugal,the end of the year you have another party called Queima das Fitas,you should do a research on that.Maybe i come from London to have fun there with you by then. Keep enjoying my country and what it has to offer. kisses. Pedro.

Data de publicação: 2009-11-03 00:00:01
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