welcome freshy part 2

“rub nong” is essentially hazing. 2nd, 3rd, 4th year students of each faculty of study has a weekend or so to welcome the incoming freshman/first year student. i suppose it’s similar to orientation, but with a twist.

at some universities the upperclassmen take the new students on out-of-town trips (which are most of the time not school supported) to “welcome” and have them “initiated” into the faculty of study. the initiation process ranges from playing HR-esque games that build trust and letting participants to get to know each other, to just plain stupid stunts like being ordered to eat a sandwich packed with wasabi.

the degrees of stupidity of course also varies, from year to year, school to school. of course there have been tragic accidents (because afterall these are just college kids 18-22).

i think what pailin is trying to say about some of the activities being “very inappropriate and morally wrong” is that hazing is already such a sensitive topic. what’s too much or too little? paddling by a cricket bat/paddle thinger while crawling on all fours? having to strip down to your boxers/panties because your seniors said so?

it’s a complex issue i suppose, that’s why most schools don’t sponsor out of town “rub nong” trips, the most is they’ll probably hold an orientation day where kids can play games and what not and get to know each other.

why do kids agree to do humilating stunts like this? well that just opens a whole other book i suppose? it can be the fear of seniority (seniority plays a very big role in thai culture) to wanting to be popular or accepted by peers.

students that partake in this tradition either come out loving or hating. it’s not meant to be anything lethal ofcourse, nobody wants anybody to die, but yes from time to time there are bad punk ass kids that just don’t know when to stop, and somebody gets hurt.

i went to “rub nong” when i was doing a semester at a thai university, and i had a lot of fun. i saw some kids having to eat soy sauce drenched ice cream and other kids being made to drink cups of chili sauce and what not. it’s silly and stupid, but it can be fun, just as long as you can be in control of yourself. when you go on these “rub nong” trips, you have nobody else but yourself to trust for your own well being.

10 Comments so far

  1. him (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 12:19 am

    Thanks for explaining it, someone had to :)

    I heared about hazing, in the USA – it’s been on the news a lot – and I find myself wondering: when did “kids” start being so stupid?

    I mean, seriously, I’m “only” 34 and in the early 90’s I went to uni and have known a hell of a lot of people who have, all over the world and I don’t think I know anyone who has been subjected to – or masterminded – this kind of thing. And it’s not like I was physics degree or something, we were all in the art school!

    Perhaps it’s mostly a USA thing (I was in the UK) – it sure sounds like my perception (rightly or wrongly, from movies mostly) of fraternity style initiation and behavior. And we all know how easily influenced by the USA Thailand is.

    If nothing else, it’s yet more proof that the new Thai generation are not the last bastion of virtuity that a lot of the country would like to make out they are.

    Actually the only thing I can remember even vaguely connected to this kind of thing was the rugby club and their… ahem… “fuck a fresher” week…

  2. Baba (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 3:22 am

    Apparently it’s also really common in Holland if you want to be part of a faternity according to some dutch friends of mine, oh and Belgium too.

    We used to have fresher’s week in the UK but it was insanely mild ;)

  3. him (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 9:48 am

    What I remember about Freshers Week is that it was a week where hte rest of the Uni didn’t come back. Ie new students started a week earlier. Break them in easy, so to speak.

  4. Jib (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 10:42 am

    My rub-nong experience was fun, as a freshy and as a senior. It was a weekend stay over at Uni. Anyway it’s different across diff uni. Some place has really bad rub-nong.

    Anyway. I think at college age, one should be able to make decision for oneself. If you like it, join it. If you don’t like it, leave it. Just like that. No one can hurt you if you don’t let them.

  5. Paul (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 11:07 am

    Maybe if the seniors engaged in activities far less offensive like stacking the freshers in the back of a truck until they suffocated or gunning them down in a mosque, the government wouldn’t be raising such a ruckus

  6. him (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 11:30 am

    Maybe we should all make paper birds for the freshers?

    No one can hurt you if you don’t let them” is a great statement that utterly ignores the problems of peer pressure.

  7. Pailin (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

    Thank you!!!
    you are right :)

    My “rub nong” experience was just orientation of uni just to get to know uni better and joining clubs a week before uni opens.

  8. Ben Harris (unregistered) on June 16th, 2005 @ 12:49 pm

    I’m going with Paul’s idea.

  9. Jib (unregistered) on June 17th, 2005 @ 9:55 am

    I’m going with Ben’s idea.

  10. him (unregistered) on June 17th, 2005 @ 10:17 am

    I’m going with Jesus Christ’s idea, because he is our one true savior and he tells me – no, he instructs me – to rip the spine out of all the non-believers. BWAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA.

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