Hello from Hungary: The Busójárás Festival

While Claremont seems to be in a perpetual state of summer and sunshine, other parts of the world experience (believe it or not!) such things as snow and winter! Here in Hungary, where I am studying abroad this semester, we’ve been fighting off the cold with plenty of hot chocolate, mulled wine, and cozy socks, but the locals in the Hungarian village of Mohacs have a more festive way, and it’s called the Busójárás.

Yes, that's me right there!
Yes, that’s me right there! Photo by Francesca Shiav.

The Busójárás, or “Buso Walking,” is a centuries-old festival held at the end of every winter. It consists of food, families, traditional dancing, parades, a bonfire, and what seems to be thousands of people dressed in Buso costumes. Large, heavy, furry costumes.

Throughout the year, the people who dress as Busos help with the community and harvest, making it their mission to keep up the historical traditions of their town. They learn about carving and the traditional dances and folklore. But when the time comes for the festival, their job is to storm the town and make as much commotion as possible, yelling, running, and hugging the people to wake up the languid citizens of winter.

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“We Should Totally Get a Meal Sometime”: The Seven Lunches You’ll Eat at Pomona

It may come as a surprise to some people, but there’s a lot of work to be done in college. Papers, lab reports, readings, projects, paperwork, applications… We students are a busy bunch. Some (unfortunately for their schedules) are also very extroverted and social. During the week, it can be extremely difficult to find time for everything you want to do — either you lose sleep or grade points by choosing to hang out with friends, or you miss out on fun times while you stare forlornly at your laptop screen. The struggle is easier for some than others, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to be around people, you have two options during the week aside from just not doing your homework (no, you should do your homework): doing work with other people, which can make it pretty tempting to goof off and get distracted, or do the social dance of mealtime socializing.

Accidentally color-coordinated in Frary
Accidentally color-coordinated at Frary

Whether it’s a close friend that you want to catch up with or someone you just met that you’d like to know better, the dining hall is pretty popular as a place to meet up and talk about what’s been happening in your life. Here’s how it often happens: You pass a friend on campus.

“Oh, hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Hi! It’s been so long! We should totally get a meal sometime!”

“We definitely should! Just text me anytime if you want to!”

So you wait a little while and text them, and after some back-and-forth and frequent menu-checking, this generally results in a meal together scheduled sometime in the following two months.

Some people avoid this dance by acquiring a Regular Meal Slot™ with someone (right now I have two: Tuesday and Friday dinner!). Others also like to organize “reunion dinners” with sponsor groups, OA groups, or any group of friends that have spread out over campus as time goes on. Because I love to make lists — not to mention that they seem to be trendy on the Internet — I want to devote the rest of my post to describing a few common types of mealtime socializing. Without further ado,

The Seven Lunches You’ll Eat at Pomona
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What Are College Summers Like?

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Presenting my Summer Experience Funding poster at Family Weekend this February.

It’s that time of year — everyone seems to be anxiously applying to programs/internships/jobs/research positions/funding etc. Over Family Weekend, standing in front of my CDO Summer Experience Funding poster, I fielded tons of questions from eager parents of first-year students. I’ve been asked the vague questions “Where do you want to be this summer?” and “What are your summer plans?” too many times, and I’ve probably asked them a few too many times, as well.

Just to give a glimpse into what summers can look like, I’ll give a brief description of my own summer experiences. [Read more…]