Traditionally Homecoming is about welcoming back alumni of a school (mostly in High School) in the US. It usually includes activities for students and alumni, such as sports and culture events and a parade through the streets of the city or town (Wikipedia). At University of Nebraska they had this tradition and celebrated it a whole week with different events, entertainment and contests. I’ll tell you here quick about some of the more memorable of these events.
Everyday during the week contests were arranged. Anyone could make their own them, so the international students participated in the competitions with “Team Europe” (a spin on “Team America“). They participated in these contests, including games that you would only play if you were a drunk student in Finland (like throwing lasso’s on a person or this egg-and spoon race game). Sometimes I don’t know if it’s better that they can have fun without alcohol, but as an European I suddenly feel kinda old when people are playing children’s games sober and behave like it’s the most fun in the world.
However, there actually was one game that sounded funny at least (sadly I had class and couldn’t attend this event), where all the teams would be in canoes at the swimming pool and were supposed to use bucket to try to sink the other teams boats. Team Europe won 50% of their battles, in other words: one game. In the end I don’t know who won, and to be honest I don’t think anyone from Team Europe knew, either. We just participated for fun.
Team Europe representing in the pool games, trying to sink other canoes.
So during the week we also had a comedian and a hypnotist. The comedian was what you would expect. However, I had never been to a hypnotist show in my life, and since I know some of the science behind it I thought it would be quite nice to see.
My personal view is that hypnosis is more about social compliance, peer pressure and suggestion than it is actually about a hypnotic trance. Since everyone who’s up on stage want’s to be there, they would naturally be more susceptible to suggestion. Further since they can give up personal responsibility for their actions, it feels more okay to do things.
Stage hypnotist shows are, however, quite entertaining. Where else would you see two big men twerking like there was no tomorrow and people supposedly getting convinced that the person they are seeing in from of them is their personal idol.
The hypnotist making people playing their favorite instruments.
Homecoming King and Queen
For homecoming you are supposed to vote for a homecoming king and a queen, which I would describe as popularity contest between some representative from different sororities and fraternities. You’ve probably seen something about this in movies or what not. The whole week people from the candidates respective groups would stand around the campus handing flyers to people, trying to get them to vote for them. One of the more international candidates, a Russian I know, one day walked around the campus “bribing” people to vote for him in this campaign.
The results of this popularity contest was revealed during a Hockey Game we all went to see (free for all UNO students), and to be honest; it was a quite anti-climactic when they revealed the winner. It seemed like most people where more relieved with the fact that people wouldn’t try to convince (read: harass) you to vote for them anymore.