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Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

mjcon
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Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

I was in Lisbon over last weekend. On Monday (26th September), everywhere I went there were groups of about 20 kids (say 14-16 years old), largely in black school(?) uniform but others not; some carried cloaks with loads of scout-type badges on. Every group seemed to have a cheerleader with a megaphone who led them in chanting. This went on all day with no obvious focus of activity. But at the end of the afternoon some of the groups headed for Rossio square and laid their badge-bedecked cloaks on the pavement. Then by about 4:30 they all went home. Very strange to my eyes but nobody local batted an eyelid. Does anyone know what that was all about?

Lisbon
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1. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

It was the beggining of the school year. A kind of prank .

Academic ritual is a set of practices which are related to the integration of new students in institutions of higher education.

It is a hierarchical initiatory ritual that translates a humiliation of new students under the pretext of its integration. Thats why they do it everywhere.

Such practices have been highly contested and generated huge controversy, and even be cases of serious injury that led to criminal proceedings.

Lisboa
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2. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

The ones being pranked are college freshmen. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Praxe

«It is a hierarchical initiatory ritual that translates a humiliation of new students under the pretext of its integration.»

Nonsensical generalization. At least in Lisbon, the antics are mostly harmless (there are exceptions, certainly) and everyone can opt out.

London
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3. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

I'm not sure how anybody could gather the impression that these were schoolchildren aged 14 to 16 years. They seemed to be quite clearly university students in their late teens to early 20s.

I must say that my partner and I, having been educated at the universities of Oxford and London, thought that this behaviour did seem rather unpleasant, and it is certainly not replicated at any British universities except in sports organisations and some elite clubs, where it is generally disliked by the rest of student population and by the university staff. In English law it is of course possible to consent (up to a point) to receive treatment that would otherwise constitute a criminal offence, and I assume that the same principle exists in Portuguese law too. However, the sight of an obese teenager being singled out to be forced to crawl on his knees along one of the city's major thoroughfares while being shouted at by a woman in academic uniform struck us as extremely distasteful, whether or not he had supposedly consented to this treatment. True, nobody was pointing a gun at him, but we all know that there are much more subtle means of coercion that are not necessarily any the less forceful.

That aside, I was curious to know whether the uniform is worn throughout the year, or only for special ceremonies (much like the uniform known as sub fusc is worn at Oxford only for events such as matriculation, degree ceremonies, and examinations). I also wondered what was signified by the badges on the cloaks and by the spoons that bent around a lot of the students' ties. I got the impression that the students were grouped according to their academic discipline, but I wondered whether some of the initiations were particular to dining and drinking clubs, etc.

Lisbon
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4. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

The so called "praxe" makes no sense today. It has lost all tradition and is just groups of infantile idiots getting drunk, making noise and humiliating some poor kids who just got into the University.

Most of them should not be at the university at all. They never study, anyway.

I know I am generalizing, but believe me, this applies to more then 90% of them.

mjcon
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5. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

hmm, well they looked in mid to late teens at the oldest to me, but if locals say they were students I'll go along with that. But to be honest I saw no sign of drunkenness or any strange "antics" - just kids making a noise. The uniforms were intriguing though.

USA
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6. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

I could be wrong about this, but I got the impression that in the last year of their college" studies" :)) they get to wear these black capes around as distinction. Is that right?

Lisboa
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7. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

In Lisbon, where the rules are looser, students from the second year and up are allowed to wear the uniform.

@jonathanquinn/fafaria Of course abuse of power is bound to happen, but condemning a practice by a few minute cases is akin to looking down on football fans because of hooligans. Also, fafaria, those are some sound statistics you've got there.

Lisbon
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8. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

I live in Lisbon, studied and teached at Lisbon University, so I should know.

The "praxe" is not only what you saw. It is a never ending succession of parties that do not good to the University and real students.

Moreover this has been corrupted by several corporations (mainly beer and other alcoholic beverages producers) who act as "sponsors" to these parties sucking their poor parent's money that should go to support their studies.

9. Re: Schoolchildren walking/shouting in Lisbon....any ideas?

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