Saturday, February 26, 2011

KONGEBAL

Our generation is not nearly as good at preserving traditions as our grandparents' was.
However each time I encounter something new in Denmark, I am AMAZED at the way the Danish people have PRESERVED so many of the old-fashioned traditions. Some people may think they are out-dated or something that should stay in the past, but I would argue that so many of these special traditions are what make Danish society so special...


I had the pleasure of experiencing one of these such events last night at Herning Gymnasium's "Kongebal". If you translate Kongebal, most people would call it a "prom", but I think this word, just like "hyggelig" should NOT be translated because this event is NOT "just a prom"; it is so much more!


The 3rd year gymnasium students (of whom 56 I have had the privilege of teaching for 3 years) gathered together last night with their teachers for the 2011 Kongebal. We ate dinner together, drank a little wine, laughed at random things and marveled at how awesome everyone looked "all gussied up"!


But the best part of the evening was yet to come....
at 830 all the teachers and parents (and grandparents and cousins and sisters and brothers...yes, we need a bigger gym!!) gathered in the gym to witness this year's "Les Lanciers"....something ALL third year gymnasium students do at their Kongebal; something many of their parents did when they went to the gymnasium; something many of their grandparents did as gymnasium students; and even something many of their teachers did during their time! 


I tried to make a few videos to give all you non-Danish gymnasium folks a taste of how AWESOME THIS WAS!! Remember, these are 18, 19 and 20 year old students.... VOLUNTARILY participating in these dances... I was SO proud of the 56 that are "mine" because this night was a true testament to how much they have grown over these last 3 years..... I hope you enjoy these videos as much I enjoyed the night!









7 comments:

May said...

Don't forget that if you are invited to an official royal function, you might be asked to dance the Lanciers. ;)

Rumours has it that Thomas Helmig and Renee Toft Simonsen messed it up so badly the first time that they were excused from dancing at later events.

Amy said...

Love this, another reason I love Scandinavia, I think even though they are teens the teens here behave more mature then the teens in the USA. I seriously doubt you'd ever see teens in the USA willingly do old fashioned dances like this at any school prom and another thing is, did you notice the girls without dates were dancing with each other? Again, you'd not see something like that in America, at least I never did in high school, maybe dance next to each other but not in a partner dance!!! It's a great thing to see and a sign of maturity I think Scandinavian teens show more of then their American counterparts.
Looks like a fun evening!! Our kids do something similar also right after the new year...dancing, dinner, etc.

Tina M Cella said...

I love this tradition and I'm so glad that it hasn't died out

ladyfi said...

The Scandinavians are so great at preserving their folk traditions! I love it when the young people learn the dances of their forefathers...

annarella1979 said...

I was so happy we didn't have to dance like that at Dronninglund Gymnasium where I graduated. (I hate dancing)

Instead we had a tradition the day before it was revealed to us which subjects we would be examinated in. We all came to school dressed up in costumes. My class was dressed like cowboys and indians, other classes were doctor/nurses and other themes. After school we hung out together and had a few beers, and at night we went to our "prom". Everyone dressed up nicely and we had good food, but no dates and no lanciers. Just a great party. And then tradition and superstition said we had to stay awake all night or it would mean bad luck with the examinations and we would be chosen to be examinated in our most hated subjects.

Maybe we were not as mature in Dronninglund, but we sure did have a good time. I was even wearing a dress though I normally hate it. I really felt like a lady until I went to the restroom and realized I had forgot to do my hair. It was still braided and had feathers in it from the morning. :-))

Anonymous said...

is this like cotillion in the US?

Mads and Kelli said...

Very much like cotillion except it is in the public school system... (which is actually similar to our junior college students in the US)...but same concept...
they have been practicing for quite a while!

And Anarella, we have something the night before the exam schedule is released as well...the Teacher Cabaret... :-) Can't wait for that!