The beer cantus. Bandana with a skull cross? Check. Long rows of international students sat at benches? Check. Sailor striped shirts, beer in the right hand and song book in the left? Ay-Ay-Captain!
The room is dim, a warm hue of red accentuates our features to a recognisable state. The rules are read out to the scallywags, being the participants, and the games began. Stand up, empty cup in your right hand, song book on the left, music starts, and we all robotically start attempting the Dutch national anthem. It was awful; a croaking slur of unintelligible discourse combined with miming and dancing eyebrows suggesting a complete inability to say the words. Some mumbled to the pattern of others, presumably the Dutch residents, the captain. While the anthem was underway, an assistant with a watering can marked ‘ESN’ filled our glasses, probably getting the full witness of the singing capabilities.
This was standard, every song an assistant would walk across the table watering, with beer, the glasses full to the brim. In between songs was the only opportunity to take a sip of the drink without permission, and usually, the captain would call for all participants to down their drink. Not only this, but those who failed to sing or look like they were singing the song correctly were punished. The punishments were as followed:
Walk the Plank!
The committee was ‘punished’ with the board from the year before. Like llamas, they were to spit… beer… at the opposing committee until the glass was empty. All punishments take place on a stage for all to see. Of course, the participants enjoyed this show and called for an encore, or should I be more specific, “one more time” was chanted and subsequently, without questions, the captain agreed, and they again spat more beer at each other. Lekker.
Another show involved four international students that needed to read a Dutch quote out loud and accurate, two failed, and two did well. The ones who failed were handed a drink to down all in one. Again, another four needed to drink with their hand twisted holding the full cup, meaning there was no movement in the wrist and plenty of beer all over the face. The spectators also attempted this challenge themselves.
There was a task from which four people were blindfolded, and the remaining four needed to get on their knees in front and have the beer poured into their mouth. The waterfall of beer neatly showered the faces of those receiving the punishment, and then the roles were reversed. All participants returned to their stations with wet faces and shirts. Similarly, this happened again except with a strainer. Yes, a strainer. The beer was sprinkled, like an opening flower, over the faces of the receiver and vice versa. A nice refreshing spring-kler shower.
Various other tasks had taken place. The scallywags would have downed their 5th round of drinks, belly bloated and burping the lyrics. Everyone was in high spirit, happy and drunk. The captain had fun running around placing the mic into the faces of scallywags so everyone else could enjoy the out of tune drunk burping. Ironically, yet presumably intentionally, the final song was Celine Dion ‘My Heart Will Go On”. All in all, it is a great night, one that everyone should at least experience once. Which, by the way, is the 30th May!
“It was ARRRRRRsome!” – Siȃn
“Songs, beer and friends” – Giorgenzo
“If you like singing that’s the event you are looking for!” – Valentina